MLB Top 100 Prospects 2024

The first update of Just Baseball’s Top 100 MLB prospects for 2024 is here!

Just Baseball’s Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2024 is finally here! As always, the list features detailed write-ups on each of the 100 players ranked based off of live looks, sourced Minor League data and countless hours of video. Of course, conversations with scouts, team officials and other industry sources are baked into these rankings as well.

You may notice something new with this year’s scouting grades; rather than evaluating both Raw Power and Game Power, we have scratched the former in favor of Plate Discipline. Given the present and future grades we have for game power, raw power felt redundant.

We’ve long felt that hit tool can be a bit misleading without the context of a player’s swing decisions, as a hitter could have a great feel for the barrel that is undermined by a hyper-aggressive approach or vice versa.

One other nuance is our graduation thresholds. Players with 100 at-bats or 35 innings pitched at the MLB level graduate from our rankings, as the goal is to make these ranks as much of an apples to apples comparison as possible.

For detailed breakdowns and explanations behind the rankings as well as interviews with a large portion of the prospects on this list, be sure to tune into our prospect podcast, “The Call Up”.

You can also keep up with our top prospect lists by team here.

1. James Wood – OF – Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’7″, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (62) – 2021 (SD) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5050/5060/7070/6050/5570

At 6-foot-7 with impressive athleticism, fluidity and mobility, Wood is a rare talent with boundless upside. He surprised many with a more advanced feel to hit at the lower levels in his first full pro season, but has run into some whiff challenges at the upper levels.

Offense

Starting upright and open, Wood sinks into his back side with a small leg kick and coil. The moves are relatively simple and repeatable, but repeating anything when you’re 6-foot-7 is going to be a bit more difficult than it is for most hitters. HHe has made some minor tweaks with his load which has made his moves more repeatable and the results have been more than evident through Spring Training and his 2024 campaign, seeing big gains in his contact rates while cutting his chase.

Boasting effortless pop to all fields, Wood already flashes top-of-the scale exit velocities, with a 90th% exit velocity right around 107 mph in his age 20 season and climbing. He has the kind of power to leave the yard on “B” swings and is still learning to tap into it more consistently.

Secondary stuff gave Wood some trouble after his promotion to Double-A, but his ability to pulverize fastballs and hangers kept him afloat. With the aforementioned strides in the bat to ball and swing decision departments, Wood now projects as an average hitter which is all he needs to potentially be one of the best power hitters in the game.

Defense/Speed

A great athlete, Wood played basketball as well before moving down to Florida to focus on baseball (smart move). Wood is a plus runner, with massively long strides that help him close an outfield gap in what seems like a couple steps. His reads are a work in progress up the middle, resulting in some inconsistent routes, but he has flashed enough ability to stick up the middle.

If he slows down some, he could move to a corner where his above average arm and offensive profile would play well. Wood accelerates well for such a big guy, swiping 18 bags on 21 tries in 2023. He should be a solid threat to put up similar stolen base numbers at the highest level.

Outlook

There have been few players with Wood’s profile, which further highlights his upside and volatility. There’s as much to dream on with Wood as any prospect in baseball and his steady maturity at the plate only helps reinforce the belief that he can reach closer to his lofty ceiling. A rare talent, there’s 40 home run potential to dream on with the ability to play all three outfield spots. As he continues to hedge the perceived risk while tapping into his elite tools, Wood looks like the best prospect in baseball.

Ad – content continues below

2. Paul Skenes – RHP – Pittsburgh Pirates

 Height/Weight: 6’6″, 250 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (1), 2023 (PIT) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
70/7060/7070/7055/5570

Skenes transferred to LSU in hopes of improving his draft stock by throwing in the SEC. In turn, he became a National Champion and one of the best pitching prospects we have seen in some time.

Check out our interview with Paul Skenes!

Arsenal

Skenes is a power pitcher in every sense, but his ability to locate his explosive stuff is what really sets him apart. The right-hander was able to lean on his 98-100 MPH fastball nearly two-thirds of the time, simply overpowering collegiate hitters while also commanding it on both sides of the plate.

There’s some questions about the shape of Skenes’ fastball, but shape becomes less consequential when you can locate triple digits. Over his last ten collegiate starts, Skenes averaged 99 MPH and touched 102 MPH several times.

The wipeout pitch is the slider in the mid 80s. He has tweaked the pitch to where he will throw two variations of it, sometimes with more sweep and other times with two plane break. Skenes locates it well to his glove side, but is still trying to find a consistent feel for how he wants to manipulate the pitch.

He added a power changeup that he calls a “splinker” at 94-95 mph that already looks like a double plus pitch. It averages 17 inches of horizontal and just drops under barrels despite the high velocity. While he prefers to use it more against lefties, it is a potent weapon right on right as well.

Outlook

One of the best college arms we had seen in some time, Skenes flew through the Minor Leagues and made a statement through his first few starts at the highest level. The rapid development of his changeup and feel to manipulate his slider into what can look like two different pitches is a testament to a feel to pitch that may have been overlooked with the 6-foot-6 flame thrower. He has a chance to be one of the best pitchers in baseball for a long time.

3. Jackson Holliday – SS – Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 175 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (1) – 2022 (BAL) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
60/6060/6045/5560/6045/5565

The son of MLB All-Star Matt Holliday and the No. 1 selection in the 2022 Draft, Holliday has five-tool potential and has flown through the Minor Leagues, having reached Triple-A prior to his 20th birthday. Already looking ready to contribute at the big league level, Holliday still has plenty more upside to grow into.

Offense

Holliday is an advanced hitter for his age with a smooth swing from the left side and comfort driving the ball to all fields. Starting upright, Holliday utilizes a slow leg kick to get into his lower half, but repeats it well and has looked comfortable with his timing.

The athleticism of Holliday is more than evident in the batter’s box, as he shows off impressive lower-half adjustability, helping him still get good swings off even when he is a bit fooled or out in front. Much like his father, Holliday is a patient hitter who does not strike out much and will work plenty of free passes. Despite climbing three levels this year, Holliday is running just a 20% chase rate.

The impact is not totally there yet for Holliday, but he has a decent sized frame and room to add more muscle which could help him develop above average or even plus power. He has the tendency to pull off of the ball a bit with his front side, which can minimize his ability to use the ground and his lower half to generate more power. The move does not impede his ability to consistently make contact thanks to his adjustability and feel for the barrel. Holliday projects as a plus hitter with more juice to tap into.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner with plenty of lateral quickness and range, Holliday has a great chance to stick at shortstop. He is already demonstrating smooth actions, good instincts and soft hands. His arm is fringy at this stage, but he gets the ball out quickly enough.

Holliday has the goods to blossom into an above average shortstop as he continues to improve his footwork, but if he moves to second base he could be an elite defender there. His plus speed should make him a consistent threat to steal bases despite being a bit inefficient in the early stages of his pro career (28-for-38 entering 2024)

Outlook

While he wasn’t the slam dunk pick at the time, it is easy to see why Holliday was the top choice for the Orioles in the 2022 draft. He immediately demonstrated an innate feel to hit and advanced approach along with tools and physical projection to dream on.

He rarely gives away at-bats and has a knack for finding the gaps. The most advanced prep prospect in his class, Holliday has flown through the minor leagues quickly thanks to his polish and approach to the game, but struggled in a big league debut that maybe exposed some inefficiencies in his swing.

With the benefit of hindsight, Holliday had been putting up higher batting averages than his contact rates would imply, through the Minor Leagues. That’s not to say he is not a plus hitter, but the statistical performance may have implied more MLB readiness than the underlying data.

Regardless, he will likely be a contributor for the Orioles far before he is a finished product which is a testament to his rare high floor/ceiling combo. How much power he taps into will determine whether Holliday can reach his perennial All-Star ceiling, but he looks like he could be an above average everyday big leaguer at worst.

Ad – content continues below

4. Junior Caminero – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: 2019 (CLE) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/5540/4560/7050/5040/5065

Acquired from Cleveland for pitcher Tobias Myers as the Rays fought a roster crunch ahead of the 40-man deadline going into the 2022 season, the Rays identified Caminero before he had even recorded an at-bat outside of the complex. Caminero has matured quickly, looking like one of the better power hitting prospects in baseball.

Offense

Caminero uses a big leg kick and barrel tip in his load, but his athleticism in the box and elite bat speed help him be on time despite the louder moves. A physical build for a 20-year-old, Caminero is already putting up elite exit velocities with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 111 MPH and max exit velocity of 114 MPH. His 90th percentile exit velocity would rank in the top five among qualified MLB hitters.

His whippy bat speed and decent feel for the barrel help Caminero keep the whiff in check, and with better swing decisions he could be an average or better hitter. There’s a chance that Caminero’s pre-swing moves will be more difficult to time up against more advanced pitching, but he has already toned down his barrel tip and load as he has racked up more at-bats at the upper levels.

There’s no doubting the top-of-the-scale raw power he possesses in the exit velocity department, but he will need to drive the ball in the air more consistently to tap into more game power. One of five batted balls that qualify as a fly ball for Caminero leave the yard (20% HR/FB rate), which is a sustainably strong figure given how hard he hits the ball; if he cuts his 50% ground ball rate, he easily has 30+ homer upside.

Defense/Speed

Though Caminero is not the most rangy, he has a big arm and decent hands that help him get by at the hot corner. He struggles at times with his throwing accuracy, but he can also make throws deep in the hole or across his body that others can’t. With more reps and perhaps cleaning up his throwing motion a bit, Caminero has a chance to develop into an average defender at third. An average runner, he is not much of a base stealer, but far from a negative on the base paths.

Outlook

It’s easy to see the power hitting third base profile for Caminero, and his decent chance of avoiding a move to first helps. While free-swinging, power hitting teenagers are extremely risky by nature, Caminero’s surprisingly decent contact rates and ability to perform at a high level as a 19/20-year-old in Double-A quells much of that concern.

2023 is Caminero’s first full season above the rookie level and his chase rates have dropped as he has compiled more at-bats. There’s a chance for elite power and enough feel to hit to get into it consistently. Caminero has the upside of one of the more feared young power hitters in the game if it all comes together.

5. Walker Jenkins – OF – Minnesota Twins

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (5), 2023 (MIN) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
60/7040/5040/5555/5550/5560

Rare bat to ball skills for a 6-foot-3 teenager and good athleticism give Jenkins the goods to be a true five-tool player.

Offense

A relaxed setup with simple pre-swing moves, Jenkins is consistently on time with his sweet left-handed swing and requires little effort to tap into impressive impact. His athleticism in the box is evident through his ability to control his body and repeat his moves consistently.

Jenkins is still filling out, but flashes plus power to his pull side already impressively balancing his knack for driving the ball in the air with authority with his advanced feel to hit. He already leverages his advantage counts well to look to do damage while showcasing the barely maneuverability to drive a pitcher’s pitch when he’s behind.

Possessing a good feel for the strike zone and the ability to drive the ball all over the field, Jenkins has the tools to be a special offensive force who climbs quickly for a prep bat.

Defense/Speed

A good runner who has looked comfortable in center field, Jenkins has a shot to stick up the middle. Should he move to a corner, his range and plus arm could give him plus potential with the glove. Jenkins should be a decent stolen base threat.

Outlook

An advanced swing for a prep bat with tools galore, Jenkins became a top-25 prospect in baseball the second the ink dried on his $7.1 million signing bonus with the Twins. There’s room for additional muscle in Jenkins frame, which would push his power to the plus territory, but his feel to hit and presently above average power will make him a strong offensive piece regardless. There’s a Kyle Tucker-type of profile here.

Ad – content continues below

6. Jackson Jobe – RHP – Detroit Tigers

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (3), 2021 | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCutterCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/7060/7050/5550/6055/6060

The top prep arm in the 2021 Draft, Jobe boasts lively stuff and is a premium athlete on the mound. After dealing with a back issue that delayed the start of his 2023 season, Jobe returned looking better than ever.

Check out our conversation with Jackson Jobe!

Arsenal

Viewed as a candidate to climb relatively quickly, Jobe’s stay in Low-A was longer than planned due to somewhat inconsistent fastball command and lower than expected chase rates on his slider. Still, the potential was more than evident.

Jobe’s fastball sits 95-97 MPH, with solid life and carry. Averaging around 18 inches of induced vertical break, the fastball plays well at the top of the zone, but he has also improved his ability to spot strikes at the bottom.

Jobe’s mid-80s slider is his best pitch. Averaging around 15 inches of horizontal break at more than 3,000 RPM, the pitch featured so much break that he had trouble locating it consistently in the early going of his professional career. He has since found much more consistency with it, having the confidence to throw it for a strike on both sides of the plate while not having much fear of leaving it over the middle because of how sharp and late the break is.

The third pitch for Jobe is a changeup that has flashed above average in the 85-87 MPH range. He has adjusted his grip on the pitch to more of a split grip that keeps the spin under 2,000 RPMs with good arm side fade. Much like the rest of his arsenal, Jobe’s mechanical improvements have helped him throw it for a strike far more frequently.

Rounding out the arsenal for Jobe is a cutter in the low 90s that he added ahead of the 2023 season. He only mixes it in around 10% of the time, but it gives him another look against hitters from both sides of the plate. With shorter break, it is easier to spot for Jobe and his ability to supinate should make it an above average pitch as he throws it more.

Outlook

Jobe had the looks of one of the most polished high school arms we had seen in a while before a couple hiccups in his first pro season and an unfortunate injury ahead of 2023. Now healthy and looking far more comfortable than he did last year, Jobe mentioned the silver-lining of his injury layoff that allowed him to work on things.

He likely could have returned much sooner in the 2023 season, but the Tigers understandably wanted to be cautious with their prized pitching prospect, and as a result, he was able to throw plenty in a control environment before he took the field again in a game setting. Jobe even mentioned in an interview on Just Baseball’s prospect podcast “The Call Up” how valuable that time was for him as a silver-lining.

His improved ability to get his momentum working towards home plate has resulted in not only an uptick in stuff, but an uptick in strikes. In terms of sheer talent, Jobe is one of the best pitching prospects in the game and it looks like he his starting to put it all together on the field.

Read More: Now Healthy, Jackson Jobe is Making Up For Lost Time

7. Samuel Basallo – C – Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 235 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $1.3M – 2021 (BAL) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5530/4055/7030/3030/4060

Ridiculous power potential for a teenager and production at the lower levels have Basallo rising quickly despite evaluators not being sure where he long-term defensive home may be. He is well on his way to becoming an offensive monster.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

Starting with his bat rested on his shoulder, Basallo features a smooth, rhythmic load to get his hands slotted and sink into his back hip. Already built like a freight train, Basallo produces plus exit velocities power to all fields. He reached exit velocities as high as 112 mph at just 18 years old and while there may not be a ton of projection in his frame, he will almost surely get stronger as he develops.

Basallo is an aggressive hitter with a fair amount of whiff, but he has kept his strikeout rate at a palatable rate. He shows some adjustability in the box with relatively simple moves, providing optimism that he can develop into an average hitter with better swing decisions. Basallo already does a good job of getting into his power in games, especially to his pull side.

Strong out of zone contact rates help hedge his moderate overall contact rates. As the 2023 season progressed, Basallo cut his chase rate some while maintaining his high in zone swing rate. The result was a ridiculous finish to his 2023 campaign, hitting .351/.450/.685 with just a 16% strikeout rate and 14% walk rate in 31 High-A/Double-A games.

Defense/Speed

A plus throwing arm is the leading defensive tool for Basallo who may be a candidate to move from behind the dish. He moves well enough to continue to get looks at catcher, but his blocking and receiving has a ways to go. His receiving is particularly weak. His catch and throw skills are strong, gunning down around 33% of attempted base stealers with impressive pop times. There’s a chance Basallo can stick at the position and he has shown some improvements already.

Outlook

If Basallo can stick at catcher, he could be a rare commodity as an elite left-handed power threat at a tough position. It’s still early in his development, but his offensive upside is already staggering enough to make him one of baseball’s best young prospects despite potential defensive limitations. Average hit and plus power will play anywhere, but there’s more pressure on his fringy hit tool if he has to move to first.

Ad – content continues below

8. Coby Mayo – 3B – Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’5″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 4th Round (103), 2020 (BAL) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5055/5560/7045/4540/5060

A popular breakout candidate, Mayo did not quite have the year many had hoped he would in 2022, but he still put up above average numbers despite aggressive assignments and earned rave reviews during the Orioles’ spring.

Check out our interview with Coby Mayo!

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

Boasting a huge frame and long levers, yet with a surprisingly controlled swing, Mayo impressed with his feel to hit the second he entered pro ball. Despite his 6-foot-5 frame, Mayo manages his length well, posting solid contact rates.

As a 20-year-old adjusting to the upper levels in 2022, Mayo struggled to recognize more advanced spin, causing his strikeout rate to jump from 21.5% in High-A to 34.5% in Double-A. He also battled some nagging injuries. However, his advanced swing, above average contact rates and impressive athleticism for his size hedges any major whiff concern long-term.

Mayo worked with the Orioles on some minor swing tweaks heading into the 2023 season to help him tap into more power, and the results have been evident. His 90th percentile exit velocity jumped to 107 MPH with a max exit velocity of 113 MPH. Pair the phenomenal exit velocities with a consistent ability to drive the ball in the air and it’s easy to envision plus game power or more for Mayo.

He absolutely pulverizes fastballs, mashing to an OPS over 1.000 and has improved his OPS by more than 200 points against breaking balls in 2023. Mayo has also cut his chase rate to around 22%, helping him walk at a well above average clip.

It’s easy to understand why the O’s were willing to go well over slot for the teenager, his simple hitting mechanics follow suit with what the organization looks for, but he also has big power potential with his huge frame and athleticism.

Defense/Speed

Mayo moves well for his size and has a plus arm at third base. He has worked hard at his defense, improving his footwork and actions. Once viewed as a candidate to move off of the position, Mayo looks like he can be an average defender there. Though he is not much of a base stealer, Mayo is at least an average runner.

Outlook

A quick learner who is lauded for his makeup and work ethic, it is really impressive for Mayo to reach Triple-A within two seasons as a power hitting prep bat. While there will naturally be some whiff with a player of his profile, Mayo manages the swing and miss really well for a 6-foot-5 masher and walks plenty.

There’s big-time power to dream on with Mayo along with the approach and bat-to-ball skills that should allow him to get on base at a strong clip.

9. Jasson Dominguez – OF – New York Yankees

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 210 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $5M – 2020 (NYY) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5550/5550/6060/6045/5060

Dominguez made adjustments heading into the 2022 season and broke out in a big way, reaching Double-A before his 20th birthday. The switch-hitting center fielder continued to refine his approach in 2023 and the results were evident as he climbed levels. He exploded onto the scene for the Yankees with a near 1.000 OPS in his first eight big league games before a torn UCL wiped out the rest his season and the beginning of 2024.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

When Dominguez first broke into pro ball in 2021, there were a lot of moving parts to the switch-hitter’s swing that he struggled to repeat, often looking out of sorts–especially from the right side of the plate. Ahead of the 2022 season, Dominguez cut down his leg kick while quieting/simplifying his hand load. The tweaks helped Dominguez see the ball earlier and repeat his moves more consistently.

The adjustments not only helped Dominguez up his OPS from the right side by more than 200 points, but he also trimmed his pull rate and chase rate, making better overall swing decisions. Dominguez’s swing was further along from the left side to begin with, though he made some smaller tweaks to achieve much of the same benefits as his right-handed improvements.

On top of the mechanical adjustments, Dominguez has since cut chase to a solid mark while steadily improving his contact rates as he has accumulated more professional at bats. While he is still working to tap into his plus power consistently in games, he has flashed exit velocities as high as 112 MPH with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 106 MPH.

Dominguez has a better feel to hit than some give him credit for, settling in at each level he has reached and seeing his strikeout rates drop as each season has progressed. His improved patience at the plate has helped him walk at high clip as well. If he can drive the ball in the air more consistently, he should be able to tap into plus game power.

Defense/Speed

Dominguez slimmed down a bit from his first pro season, helping him get to his top speed quicker both in the outfield and on the bases, easily recording plus run times.

As he has gained reps in the outfield, he has cleaned up his routes while getting better jumps on balls. Possessing a plus arm, Dominguez would project as a plus defender in a corner, but he has the goods to stick in center. He has turned into a a major factor on the base paths, swiping 35 bags in his first 100 Double-A games in 2023.

Outlook

With unfair expectations placed on Dominguez prior to his first professional at-bat, Dominguez was somewhat setup for failure in the eyes of the general public if there were any growing pains in “The Martian’s” development. Turns out, Dominguez is indeed human and had a learning curve. That said, he is a special athlete with a well-regarded work ethic that allowed him to learn and develop much more quickly than most players his age.

A switch-hitting centerfielder with plus power and speed is a rare profile that every organization would love to have. As Dominguez’s maturity in the box has been tangible as he has climbed levels, capped off with a great MLB cameo before going down with a torn UCL. He could develop into an All-Star centerfielder with impact tools across the board. If he moves to a corner, he could still be a dynamic speed and power combo with enough production to comfortably carry the corner profile.

Ad – content continues below

10. Emmanuel Rodriguez – OF – Minnesota Twins

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/L | IFA: $2.5M, 2019 (MIN) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4070/7055/6555/5550/5560

One of the most exciting power bats in the lower minors, Rodriguez has monster offensive upside. Injuries have slowed Rodriguez’s development a bit, but he put up great numbers in 99 High-A games during the 2023 season following a torrid second half.

Offense

Lightning quick bat speed and an explosive lower half helped Rodriguez put up elite exit velocities as a teenager and he has continued to grow into more juice as he has matured and gotten healthy. Rodriguez unfortunately tore his meniscus in June of his 2022 campaign, cutting his coming out party short with a 1.044 OPS in 47 games. The combination of plus power and patient approach allowed Rodriguez to feast on Low-A pitchers despite a 68% contact rate.

Rodriguez had to shake some rust off in the early going of his 2023 campaign, but really hit his stride once June rolled around. One of the most patient hitters in the Minor Leagues, Rodriguez found himself bordering on overly passive at points, taking pitches he could do damage on leading to far too many deep counts.

While still very selective, he started to pull the trigger a bit more, resulting in more production and less strikeouts. Still running a minuscule chase rate below 15%, Rodriguez takes free passes with the best of them and now is leveraging his advantage counts better.

Easy power and elite bat speed paired with his explosive lower half help Rodriguez produce big time exit velocities. His 90th percentile exit velocity of 108 MPH is the best mark in the Twins organization, with a max exit velocity of 117 MPH.

His elite bat speed has helped him pulverize fastballs to an OPS over 1.000 as a pro. Secondary stuff gave him plenty of trouble in 2022 and the early parts of 2023, but he has improved at both recognizing and staying back on secondaries as he has compiled more at-bats. His low chase rates on non-fastballs also hedges concern.

With borderline plus-plus raw power that he is starting to get into in games more consistently, an elite ability to draw walks and the potential for an average hit tool, Rodriguez has as much offensive upside to dream on as any prospect at the lower levels.

Defense/Speed

An above average runner, Rodriguez covers enough ground to play a viable center field. His reads have continued to improve and despite his big frame, Rodriguez has maintained more agility and quickness than many scouts imagined when he was at the lower levels. After stealing 20 bags on 25 tries in 2023, Rodriguez has continued to focus on swiping more bags in 2024.

Outlook

Rodriguez has enough power to clear 30 home runs easily with the athleticism to provide 20+ stolen bases and stick in centerfield. Pair all of that with one of the most selective approaches in the Minor Leagues and steady improvements bat-to-ball wise and the Twins may have a potential star in their outfield as soon as 2025.

11. Carson Williams – SS – Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (28), 2021 (TB) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
30/3550/5550/6055/5560/7055

Williams has put his big tools on display since being drafted first round in 2021, giving Rays fans plenty to look forward to. He will need to cut down in the whiffs to reach his All-Star ceiling, though.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

Still with a wiry frame and room to fill out, Williams turned heads with his plus exit velocities as a 19-year-old in Low-A as well as his ability tap into game power.

Already reaching exit velocities as high as 112 MPH along with an impressive 90th percentile exit velocity of 107 MPH, it’s easy to see the plus power projection for Williams with even more pop in the tank.

Williams starts with an upright stance and relies on his natural bat speed and athleticism to produce thump, but his lack of lower half involvement leaves power on the table for him. You’ll see Williams often finish even his swing more upright than he started, which is a bit of a tell. His bat path is geared for lift, helping him produce plenty of home runs and extra base hits, but also leaving him susceptible to higher whiff figures. Williams hedges the whiff with a patient approach, but can toe the line of passiveness.

The fact that Williams was able to consistently produce the way he did even with the swing deficiencies is a testament his wiry strength and natural athleticism. His inconsistent base and steep swing likely contributed to more struggles against offspeed than he would like, but he has improved in that regard. Williams has handled velocity extremely well, mashing to an OPS right around 1.000 against fastballs.

With some tweaks, Williams could not only tap into plus or better power, but would likely find more success and consistency against breaking stuff as well. Even if the hit tool is fringy, his plus power and patient approach give him the ability to be a productive bat. He has 30 homers in the tank if he hits enough.

Defense/Speed

Williams is an above average runner with an easy plus arm. His actions are smooth and his feet are quick. He has the tendency to sit back on balls at times and rely on his arm strength, but he has plenty of range and a good internal clock. Williams has the goods to not only stick at short, but also be a plus defender there.

While he is not a burner, Williams is fast enough to be a factor on the base paths. He is relatively aggressive, but an inefficient base stealer. As he reaches the higher levels, Williams should be a threat for 10-15 bags.

Outlook

A plus defender a shortstop with big power potential is easy to get excited about. Williams will need to improve upon his ability to hit and recognize spin to reach his ceiling, but 30 home run upside with impact defense at short does not grow on trees. A high strikeout rate may just come with the territory, but Nolan Gorman-type production with plus defense on the left side of the infield is a profile any team in baseball would sign up for.

Ad – content continues below

12. Roman Anthony – OF – Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 200 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (79), 2022 (BOS) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5555/6045/6055/5545/5560

A second round pick in the 2022 draft, Anthony has already made waves with his power to all fields and advanced approach.

Offense

Anthony starts upright with his hands high and sinking into his back side with an early, slow load. He gets himself into a good hitting position, helping him see the ball early and crush velocity as well as make good swing decisions.

He has an OPS well over 1.000 against fastballs, showing the ability get to heaters in difficult spots. His overall chase rate of 18% is one of the lower figures you’re going to find from a teenager in full season ball, helping him walk at a high clip. He toes the line of passiveness sometimes taking hittable pitches in the zone.

Where Anthony is still a work in progress is handling breaking balls, which stems from lower half inconsistencies. While he gets himself into a good spot pre-swing, Anthony has the tendency to leak forward on breaking stuff, losing his back hip prematurely.

Of course, this is an extremely common challenge for young hitters — especially teenagers in High-A. This should improve as Anthony gets more reps and learns how to control his body a bit better through his swing. He has already demonstrated an above average feel for the barrel, which paired with his bat speed and patience gives him an above average hit tool projection.

Anthony boasts exciting power potential, driving the ball over the replica monster in Greenville with consistent ease while flashing exit velocities to his pull side as high as 111 MPH already. With a 90th percentile exit velocity of 106 MPH as a 19-year-old, it’s more a matter of consistently lifting the ball for Anthony when it comes to his power, as he already flashes plus raw juice with room for more. Leverage and lift will come with lower half consistency as well.

Defense/Speed

An above average runner, Anthony covers plenty of ground and already commands center field with a fair amount of comfort. From the direct routes he takes to the way he plays the ball off of Greenville’s jagged center field wall, Anthony looks the part.

He may slow down a bit as he fills out, but already getting good jumps with direct routes, Anthony has a decent shot of sticking up the middle. If he moves to a corner, he’d project as a well-above average defender. Though not much of a base stealer, Anthony adds value on the bases with his decent wheels.

Outlook

Few prospects enjoyed more helium than Roman Anthony in 2023, and for good reason. A second round pick in 2022 out of the talent factory that is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, Anthony hit the ground running much like his high school teammate, Baltimore’s Coby Mayo.

Plus power potential with an above average feel to hit and advanced approach is an easy sell offensively, but if Anthony can stick in center as he has shown the ability to do in the early goings, he can quickly become one of the best outfield prospects in baseball.

13. Dylan Crews – OF – Washington Nationals

HITPlate DiscGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6060/6550/6060/6050/5560

One of the best college draft prospects we have seen in some time, Crews offers five tool upside with an advanced feel for the game.

Offense

Crews is as athletic of a hitter as they come. He really gets into his lower half, sinking deep into his back hip as he loads. Elite hip mobility and body control allow Crews to use the ground effectively to generate power, boasting plus plus bat speed. He gets to difficult pitches and has no problem turning around premium velocity.

The exit velocities are top of the NCAA scale for Crews, with a 90th percentile exit velocity just under 110 MPH (with metal). The raw power is easily plus, but a slightly elevated ground ball rate held Crews back from hitting more homers (he still hit 58 HR in 196 collegiate games).

One of the most patient amateur hitters you’ll find, Crews ran a chase rate below 15%, helping him walk 71 times against just 46 strikeouts in his junior season. Those around Crews credit a more mature approach as he got acclimated to college ball, as well as unbelievably strong eyesight.

It was nearly impossible to get the LSU product out his entire 2023 season (he hit .426), but some pitchers were able to find success with sliders against Crews. He has the occasional tendency to pull off of hard breaking stuff, causing him to swing over or roll over sharp sliders at times. Even if there’s an adjustment period for Crews against high-end sliders, he still rarely chases them, which hedges some concern in that department.

Crews has a rare blend of a high ceiling and floor. There’s enough power to hit 30 home runs, good enough plate discipline to walk at a high clip, and a feel to hit that should allow him to hit for average.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner, Crews has a good feel for center field, getting excellent jumps off of the bat while looking comfortable with his routes. Despite some speculation that he could ultimately move to a corner, Crews looks the part in center and should not only stick there, but also provide plenty of defensive value up the middle. If he does make a move to a corner for some reason, his plus arm and great range would make him an easy plus defender.

Despite consistently producing above average to plus run times, Crews is not much of a base stealer. He will pick his spots, but almost because pitchers are not worried about him going. He was 6-for-6 on stolen base attempts in 71 games for LSU last season.

Outlook

It’s extremely difficult to poke a hole in the game of Dylan Crews. After being considered one of the best prep prospects in his class, Crews went on to somehow exceed expectations by hitting .380/.498/.689 in three seasons at LSU. The tools, track record, and performance on the big stage made Crews a slam dunk pick for the Nationals at No. 2 and he has a chance to climb the ladder very quickly. The Nationals could have their next face of the franchise.

Ad – content continues below

14. Pete Crow-Armstrong – OF – Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (19), 2020 (NYM) | ETA: 2023

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4530/3550/5560/6070/8060

The best defensive center fielder in the minors, PCA has put up well above-average offensive numbers at every stop, earning a big league call-up not long after his 21st birthday. 

Offense

Starting with an upright stance before sinking into his backside as he loads, PCA uses his lower half well to tap into above average power despite a wiry frame. His athleticism is evident in the box, repeating his moves with ease, which helps him be on time frequently.

A lofty swing geared for pull side lift, PCA has one of the highest fly ball rates among prospects in the upper-minors. As his exit velocities have ticked up, his ability to consistently drive the ball in the air has resulted in more slug, but the loft has also resulted in a bit more whiff in the zone than desired.

After hitting 16 home runs at the lower levels in 2022, PCA matched that total in just 80 games at the upper levels in 2023. Though he has hit over .300 in the minors, the contact rates for PCA are lower than expected, running both a 75% zone contact rate and 68% overall contact rate in 2023. This may in part be due to his aggressive approach, as PCA does seem to have a knack for putting bat on ball, even in left on left matchups, and has kept his strikeout rates at a palatable figure.

With some refinement to his approach, PCA should develop into at least a fringe-average hitter with above average pop. Cutting down on his elevated chase (33%) would likely help his hit tool and overall offensive profile.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner with great instincts, PCA makes an impact both on the base paths and in the field with his legs. Defensively, he has a chance to be a perennial Gold Glover in center field. His reads are great, as are his jumps and there’s no doubt about his closing speed. A plus arm is just the icing on the cake for a guy who should command the outfield as well as anyone in the business once he gets to the big leagues.

On the base paths, PCA has already made his speed known, stealing 32 bases in 2022 and exceeding that total in 2023. There is probably some room for improvement in terms of picking the right spots to run and getting slightly better jumps from first base to aid efficiency, but the speedster should be a 20+ stolen base threat annually. 

Outlook

There was no doubt that PCA would be a solid, high-floor prospect thanks to his elite defensive potential and speed as a left handed-hitting center fielder. The question seemed to be, “how much upside does he have?”

As we are quickly learning, PCA has the ability to impact the baseball more than many expected and an All-Star ceiling is not outlandish. Even with nearly two lost seasons, he still made his MLB debut at 21 years old. It was not the prettiest of MLB debuts as he probably was a bit rushed and in need of a bit more seasoning in the box to make that leap to the big leagues.

PCA is a hard-nosed gamer who is capable of impacting the game in a myriad of ways. With his uptick in pop, elite defense and strong work ethic, the Cubs’ top prospect has further solidified his floor while raising his perceived ceiling. He will still needs to make strides with his swing decisions and contact frequency to realize his potential, but he already stacks up with just about any centerfielder at the highest level defensively.

15. Jordan Lawlar – SS – Arizona Diamondbacks

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (6), 2021 (ARI) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/5555/6050/5570/7055/6060

A premium athlete who continues to impress with his feel in the batter’s box, Lawlar has quickly blossomed into one of the game’s most dynamic infield prospects.

Offense

Setting up in a medium base with equal weight distribution, Lawlar uses a gathering leg kick along with a barrel tip for timing before unleashing a lightning quick stroke.

The swing produces more quickness than raw bat speed, but there is more bat speed to come as he adds strength. Lawlar’s feel to hit and approach has helped him handle aggressive assignments, showcasing impressive bat-to-ball skills and an advanced knowledge of the strike zone as one of the youngest hitters at each level he has been at.

His swing has a tendency to get big in plus counts, similar to most young hitters, but it almost certainly won’t be a problem as he matures. Lawlar shows an advanced ability to use the whole field with authority while being able to just throw his hands at a pitch with two strikes and use his speed to leg one out when he is fooled.

The power is the bigger question mark, as he may never be physically imposing. With that being said, he already flashes average power to his pull side with room to add at least some strength. His exit velocities are a tick above average (103 MPH 90th percentile EV) and he does a good job of consistently hitting the ball in the air. He could ultimately provide 20 homer pop on an annual basis.

His desire to elevate to his pull side can result in him pulling off or swinging over quality breaking balls, which was something he struggled with in his MLB debut. This should get better as he continues to improve his ability to recognize spin and picks his spots to hunt for pull side damage more effectively.

Lawlar’s advanced feel to hit and developing power give him great upside in the batter’s box. He fits the profile of the modern leadoff hitter to a tee. 

Defense

Lawlar is an elite athlete with quick-twitch actions on the defensive side of the ball. There are no questions about his ability to stick at shortstop, and his range, hands, and plus arm lead us to believe he could be an impactful defender. 

He’s also a plus-plus runner who will flash elite home-to-first times. The defensive tools are loud and he should impact the game with his glove and legs on a nightly basis. 

Outlook

There’s an exciting blend of polish and some projection in Lawlar’s game. His elite athleticism and high offensive floor give him a great chance of being an everyday shortstop at the highest level, but there’s still room for more.

Lawlar has the ceiling of an All-Star capable of impacting the game in a variety of ways. If he can tap into 20 home-run power in the big leagues, we could see some shades of Trea Turner.

Ad – content continues below

16. Andrew Painter – RHP – Philadelphia Phillies

Height/Weight: 6’7″, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (13), 2021 (PHI) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCURVEBALLCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
70/7060/7050/6045/5550/6060

The top prep pitching prospect in the 2021 draft, Painter is a wunderkind who is tall enough to play forward on the hardwood, young enough to be a college sophomore, and yet is polished enough to pound the strike zone with multiple plus pitches. Tommy John surgery rains on yet another parade, as the best pitching prospect in baseball (when healthy) won’t be debuting until 2025, at the earliest.

Arsenal

Possessing a five pitch mix that rivals any pitching prospect in baseball, Painter has dominated hitters mostly with his 70 grade fastball that sits 95-97 MPH and has been clocked as high as 101 MPH. The pitch really explodes out of Painter’s hand with tons of life, boasting more than 18 inches of induced vertical break which has helps him generate some of the best in zone whiff rates in the minors.

Painter’s second plus pitch is his 81-83 MPH sweeping slider. The pitch tunnels well off of his riding fastball boasting late, sharp bite away from right-handers. While he mostly uses the slider against same-handed hitters, he has also showed plenty of comfort burying the pitch on the back leg of lefties and has continued to use it more frequently in early counts to steal strikes.

He also features a curveball in the upper 70s which flashes above average as well as a changeup in the upper 80s. He has rarely needed to use the pitch in the lower levels, but continued to use it more frequently as faced stiffer competition.

The changeup was a focus for Painter heading into last season, improving his command of the pitch as well as the improved arm side fade that it now features. Not only does the changeup give Painter a rare fourth speed, but it also gives him a fourth movement direction which is a tunneling nightmare for hitters.

Painter’s focus heading into 2023 was his new cutter, which he unveiled during spring training. The pitch sat 89-90 MPH and appeared to have the makings of another solid offering.

Outlook

The fact that Painter showed such great command of his elite stuff as a 6-foot-7 teenager is remarkable. His strike rate has hovered around 67% all season long while he continued to rely on his fastball less and use his strong secondaries more. It is also impressive how he has continued to add to and refine his arsenal as he has matured.

Painter is a rare talent who is likely to make his big league debut before he can legally buy a beer. It will be interesting to see how Painter’s surgically-reconstructed UCL may impact his overall stuff and command in the long term, but the Phillies could very well have their next generational ace in Painter as he continues to exceed even the loftiest of expectations.

17. Colson Montgomery – SS – Chicago White Sox

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (22), 2021 (CWS) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/5555/5545/6045/4540/4560

Montgomery was dynamite in his first pro season (2022), mashing through Low-A and posting strong numbers in High-A before a rushed promotion to Double-A as part of “Project Birmingham.” He got a late start to the 2023 season after struggling with back and oblique issues, but returned to solid results between High-A, Double-A and the AFL.

Offense

A big guy with long levers, Montgomery stays short to the ball generating a lot of whip and leverage. He already flashes plus power to his pull side, boasting a 90th percentile exit velocity over 105 mph paired with the ability to elevate.

Montgomery already controls his body really well, keeping his weight back and using his long levers to backspin baseballs with impressive bat speed. His quiet load helps him consistently be on time, producing above average contact rates. While his plus power is more apparent to his pull side at this point, Montgomery comfortably barrels the ball to all fields and should develop into home run power to both foul poles.

Already possessing an advanced approach for this age, Montgomery has walked at a 13.5% clip as a pro with a strikeout rate just under 21% The 22-year-old is an exciting blend of plus power accentuated by an above average feel to hit and the ability to draw walks.

Defense/Speed

A fringy runner, Montgomery moves decently well for his 6-foot-4 frame though his steps can be heavy and a bit flat-footed. He has an above average arm, but with fringy range and sometimes stiff actions. He has worked hard on being more fluid in the infield and has good instincts, providing some optimism that he could get by at the position. Montgomery likely profiles best at third base longterm where he could be an above average defender.

Outlook

Montgomery offers immense upside thanks to his flashes of low-effort, plus pop and a great feel to hit for a player of his build/stature. There may be even more power in the tank for Montgomery as he saw an uptick in exit velocities despite back and oblique injuries restricting him some in 2023. Even if Montgomery slides over to third base, his bat is capable of providing more than ample offensive production for the position.

That said, with nobody in his way at the shorstop position, the White Sox will likely give their former first round pick every opportunity there. He has All Star upside with a good chance of being a regular on the left side of the infield.

Ad – content continues below

18. Ethan Salas – C – San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $5.8M, 2021 (SD) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6550/6035/5050/5045/6055

A wunderkind of a catching prospect, Salas signed for $5.8 million as the top prospect in the 2023 IFA class and was immediately thrusted into big league spring training action and by a Low-A assignment prior to his 17th birthday.

Offense

Salas starts upright with his weight slightly stacked on his back side before sinking a bit further into his back hip with minimal hand movement in his load. His pre-swing moves are slow and controlled, while his swing is quick and violent. Salas incorporates his lower half really well, producing plus bat speed and above average pop.

He already has a great feel for the zone and recognizes spin well, boasting a chase rate below 20% and numbers that have steadily improved against secondary stuff as he has compiled at bats. With an average exit velocity of 87 MPH and 90th percentile exit velocity of 101.5 MPH, Salas is already tapping into slightly above average power and has room for plenty more.

His feel to hit is extraordinary for his age and well above average in general. Both his 76% contact rate and 85% in-zone contact rate are strong figures that have improved as he has progressed through his first pro season.

Given where Salas is already at, it’s easy to imagine him developing into a plus hitter. Already flashing solid impact, Salas should grow into above average power as well. His offensive upside is immense.

Defense/Speed

It’s hard to remember a more advanced teenage catching prospect when it comes to receiving than Salas, reeling in the ball smoothly with elite hands. He moves well behind the dish making strides as a blocker in his first pro season.

The Padres brass has already raved about the maturity of Salas and the way he handles bullpens, which should translate into strong game calling. Already with a well above average arm, Salas should grow into a plus thrower who has the goods to be a plus defensive catcher as he hammers down the fundamentals.

Outlook

Potentially elite on both sides of the ball with the makeup to reinforce the ability, Salas not only has All-Star upside, but he should be able to climb through the minors quickly as a high-probability big leaguer. His upside is one of the best catchers in baseball at the highest level, but even for as advanced as he is for a 17-year-old, he of course has some ways to go. Given his age, present tools/production, projection and makeup, Salas has a strong case as the best catching prospect in the sport.

19. Max Clark – OF – Detroit Tigers

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (3), 2023 (DET) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
45/6050/5535/4570/7060/7055

A superb athlete who gets the most out of his frame, Clark flies, has a rocket for an arm and makes plenty of contact.

Offense

Starting with a wide, crouched stance, Clark boasts impressive hip mobility and gets himself into a powerful hitting position with a weight shift into his back hip and minimal stride. His twitch, wiry strength and athleticism help him produce plus bat speed with ease. He made some tweaks to his set up and swing after his pro debut, incorporating a more pronounced leg kick with his hands in a higher position and his bat at a flatter angle.

Clark is compact and quick to the ball, helping him see the ball longer and make good swing decisions. His barrel enters the zone early and seems to stay for a long time, helping him make plenty of contact. Clark’s swing is more geared for line drives, helping him get to high-carry fastballs at the top of the zone, but like many good left-handed hitters, he can really drive balls at the bottom of the zone.

Between his quickness to the ball, simple moves and feel for the barrel, it’s easy to see a potential plus hit tool for Clark. He already flashed exit velocities of 105 MPH on a home run in his first week at the Tigers’ complex, but the jury is still out on how much power he will ultimately hit for. What is not debatable is the fact that there is gap to gap power for Clark at the very least.

Defense/Speed

A plus plus runner with a strong arm, Clark has the tools to be a superb defender in centerfield. He tracks balls well and has an excellent first step. Running up to 94 MPH on the mound in high school, Clark easily boasts a plus arm. With his football background and ability to get to his top speed quickly, Clark should be a menace on the bases as well.

Outlook

It’s rare to find a prep prospect as athletic as Clark is while still having the polish that he has shown in the box. It will be interesting to see if his adjustments help him create a bit more loft and impact. Already with a good feel for the barrel and an advanced approach, increased power output could really have Clark flirting with the five tool player label. Clark one of the most exciting young outfield prospects in the game, but his present abilities make him a high probability big leaguer relative to his peers.

Ad – content continues below

20. Owen Caissie – OF – Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (45), 2020 (SD) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
35/4550/5560/7050/5040/5055

A big left-handed hitter with some of the best raw power in the minors, Caissie has immense offensive upside while making some progress with his feel to hit.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

Standing at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Caissie possesses some of the best raw power in the Minor Leagues with potentially more in the tank. Starting upright, Caissie sinks into his back side as he loads with a simple toe-tap for timing.

Caissie has found more consistency with his pre-swing moves as he has compiled at-bats, syncing his upper and lower half more effectively. This has not only helped him hit the ball harder, but also in the air more consistently, cutting his ground ball rate by nearly 10% while seeing his HR/FB rate jump from 12% to 25%. More fly balls and a larger percentage of those fly balls leaving the yard is of course what the Cubs want to see from Caissie.

When everything is in sync for Caissie, you can see flashes of a potentially special power bat. His long levers which help him create his massive power can also result in a bit too much whiff, but the 21-year-old consistently cut down the swing and miss as the Double-A season progressed (and the tacked baseballs were taken out of circulation of the Southern League). 

His average exit velocity of 94 MPH would rank among the top 15 in Major League Baseball, and his 90th percentile exit velocity of 110 MPH is one of the best figures in the entire Minor Leagues. There is foul pole-to-foul pole power potential for Caissie, who may have even more pop in the tank.

Defense/Speed

Caissie moves well for his size, but his limited experience in the outfield heading into 2022 was evident in his reads and routes. A plus plus arm and more than enough athleticism to be passable in a corner outfield spot, there is plenty of reason to believe that Caissie can develop into at least an average defender or better.

Caissie mentioned in our interview with him on “The Call Up” that one of his offseason focuses heading into 2023 was to gain speed and explosiveness.

Outlook

Already putting on shows with his majestic batting practice homers, Caissie’s big-time power has started to make its way into games more as he gets at-bats under his belt. Despite the whiff concerns, Caissie has handled challenging assignments as one of the younger hitters at each stop. He really enjoyed a coming out party in Double-A, pacing the league in homers as a 20/21-year-old and inspiring more belief that he can tap into his 30+ homer upside. 

Read More: Owen Caissie is Blossoming Into an Elite Power-Hitting Prospec

21. Cole Young – SS – Seattle Mariners

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 180 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (21) – 2022 (SEA) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/6060/6035/4555/5550/5560

As polished of a prep prospect as you were going to find from the jump, Young has impressed with his feel to hit, advanced approach, and smooth actions in the field.

Offense

Young hit the ground running in pro ball thanks to his ability to consistently make contact and his patient approach. He has little pre-swing movement, a great feel for the barrel and engages his lower half well, allowing him to consistently be on time and spray line drives. He has demonstrated the ability to get to difficult pitches and is extremely adjustable with a path that enters the zone early and stays through it for a long time.

Since debuting in 2022, Young has walked more than he has struck out while getting on base at a .400 clip. While power will never be a big part of his game, he already uses the field so well for a young hitter and could grow into average pop.

Between his 15% chase rate and ability to hit with two strikes, Young should be a consistent threat to get on base with low strikeout totals. He already hits lefties pretty well while posting solid overall numbers against secondary stuff. Young is a high floor bat with on-base skills that should translate as he climbs and potentially enough power to hit 10-15 homers.

Defense/Speed

A smooth defender with great actions and footwork, Young is already an extremely reliable defender. While his arm is average, his instincts and quick feet help him extend his range. Just 19 years old at season’s start, Young could make some gains with his arm strength as he matures physically, which could make him a plus defender at short. Regardless, he has a great chance of sticking there.

An above average runner, Young has the speed to be a factor on the base paths and has been a willing base stealer at the lower levels thus far.

Outlook

Viewed as one of the “safer” prep prospects in the 2022 draft, Young has appeared to be just that in the early goings of his professional career. Between his feel to hit and approach, it is not hard to believe in Young’s bat. Add in his solid tools across the board, great baseball instincts and the potential for average power and there is an above average big league shortstop to dream on here.

Ad – content continues below

22. Xavier Isaac – 1B – Tampa Bay Rays

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 240 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (29), 2022 (TB) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4550/5555/7030/3040/4555

A big, left handed power bat with a good feel for the barrel, Isaac has the potential to be an offensive force.

Offense

Starting slightly open with his weight slightly favoring his back side, Isaac uses an early and slow load to get himself into a powerful launch position. He already uses his lower half and controls his body exceptionally for a 6-foot-4 teenager.

Not only does his advanced feel for his body help him consistently get powerful swings off, but when he is a bit out front or fooled, his “B” swings pack a punch as well. Isaac has displayed the ability to uncork 113 MPH home runs to his pull side, as well as shoot a ball the other way for a base hit.

With a 90th percentile exit velocity of 108 MPH, Isaac already produces plus plus exit velocities with room for more. His patient approach (22% chase) has helped him walk at a 15% clip providing optimism that he can sustain his high on base percentages as he pushes towards more challenges levels.

The potential for an above average feed to hit with big time power to all fields, Isaac has the offensive potential to be a middle-of-the-order masher for a first division team.

Defense/Speed

Probably a better athlete than he gets credit for, Isaac is a shaky defender at first base, but does have the natural ability to develop into an average defender. He moves his feet pretty well for his size, swiping 12 bags on 12 tries in 2023.

Outlook

Isaac has the potential to develop into a middle-of-the-order masher at the highest level. Not only does he posses as much power potential as just about any prospect in baseball, but he boasts a natural feel to hit that most players his size lack. Isaac’s stock should continue to fly with plenty of similarities to Triston Casas.

23. Matt Shaw – 2B – Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (13), 2023 (CHC) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6040/4045/5560/6040/4555

A sound offensive profile with a strong track record of hitting through college and on the Cape, Shaw was viewed as high-floor college bat with some thump, but his feel to hit and athleticism really stood out in his pro debut, catapulting him into the Cubs plans.

Offense

Starting slightly closed with a leg kick that varies in size, Shaw has no problem timing up the move with the athleticism to consistently repeat it. When he’s in advantage counts, Shaw will feature a sizable leg kick and let it eat, but when he is behind in the count or simply feels a bit rushed at the plate, he will minimize his stride to see the ball earlier and simplify.

Not every player can have that level of adjustability pitch to pitch, but Shaw has had no trouble with it against the best competition in college, as well as in his early days at the professional level. He makes plenty of contact, projecting as an above average hitter with flashes of plus power. In his 38 pro games in 2023, Shaw posted a 90th percentile exit velocity of 106.5 mph.

His path is more geared for line drives, aiding his high contact rates, but with how hard he hits the baseball, he should still be able to tap into above average game power. Around 20-25 home runs with plenty of doubles could be attainable.

An aggressive hitter, it will be interesting to see if Shaw’s somewhat high chase rates catch up to him at the upper levels, but he hedges that with great bat to ball skills and a strong track record.

Defense/Speed

Drafted as a shortstop, the Cubs have started to transition Shaw to third base. He has seen plenty of reps at second base as well, but with the way he is swinging the bat, the Cubs appear to view him as a big league option sooner rather than later with third base open.

His fringy arm leaves a bit to be desired, though he has worked hard to improve in that department and looked more comfortable firing the ball across the diamond with carry at Cubs camp. A plus runner, Shaw swiped 15 bags on 18 tries in his first 38 pro games. He should add at least some value in that department.

Outlook

Already with well above average hit and power, Shaw is a high-floor bat with sneaky athleticism. He will likely need to improve his approach some once he faces upper-level pitching to achieve his ceiling, though his ability to make contact on pitches outside of the zone hedges perceived issues with aggressiveness. Shaw could blossom into a hard-hitting, high contact bat similar to Yandy Diaz, but with more defensive upside and much more athleticism.

Ad – content continues below

24. Josue De Paula – OF – Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 175 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $1.5M, 2021 (LAD) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/6045/5545/6045/4535/4555

One of the most polished hitters at the rookie level in 2022, De Paula has an extremely advanced swing and approach that have helped him make a smooth transition into full season ball as a 17/18-year-old.

Offense

De Paula has a simple set up and a slow, controlled and smooth load that helps him see the ball early and repeat his moves. The teenager’s swing is silky smooth, already controlling his body extremely well with a great feel for the barrel. Posting plus contact rates and low chase rates along with strong numbers against left-handed pitching, De Paula projects as a plus hitter or better.

He has already demonstrated the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields with plenty of room to add muscle to his somewhat long and slender frame. Though he’s extremely far away, there’s potential for a combination of plus hit and above average power as he matures.

Defense/Speed

An average runner, DePaula as quick enough to cover decent ground in a corner outfield spot, but his reads and instincts are still extremely raw. His above average arm profiles best in right field where he can become a passable defender with more reps. As De Paula fills out, he is unlikely to be much of a factor on the bases, but shouldn’t be a clogger.

Outlook

The most advanced prospect the Dodgers had at the rookie levels in 2022, De Paula is easily one of the most polished teenage hitters in the minors.

While the power has not totally translated into games yet, there have been plenty of flashes–especially to the pull-side–and it seems like it is only a matter of time until his fantastic feel to hit and projectable frame result in above average pop. With his present offensive talent and even more to dream on, De Paula has monster upside at the plate.

25. Christian Scott – RHP – New York Mets

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th Round (142) – NYM (2021) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLChangeupSliderCOMMANDFV
65/6560/6050/5560/6055

An improved fastball and a leap command wise helped Scott break out in 2023, posting one of the best K-BB figures in the Minor Leagues. The right-hander built on the success by adding a sweeper in the offseason that has yielded impressive results in the early going.

Arsenal

Scott has overpowered Double-A hitters with his 94-96 mph fastball, attacking the zone with plenty of confidence. The pitch is unique because he features a three quarters release, but is still able to maintain more ride than run on the fastball, creating an incredibly flat and unfamiliar approach angle for hitters.

The result was an opponent batting average below .200 and a ridiculous in zone whiff rate of 33% paired with a swinging strike rate of 19% on his fastball in Double-A. Scott’s ability to miss bats within the zone and plus command combined to give him a 73% strike rate on the pitch in 2023.

Working off of his fastball is a plus changeup with good arm side fade in the mid 80s. Scott sells it really well with his arm speed and release, making it extremely difficult for hitters to differentiate from his fastball. He also has an excellent feel for the pitch, landing it for a strike 67% of the time in 2023 while racking up a chase rate near 40%.

Scott made some tweaks to his slider, throwing two variations that are both improved from what we saw from him in 2023. He adding more of a true sweeper to the fold in the mid 80s which plays up from his more horizontal release while also adding more vertical drop to his traditional slider at a higher velocity.

Outlook

Assuming the adjustments to his slider continue to translate, Scott boasts the pitch mix of a mid-rotation starter with the command to supplement it. A late bloomer, Scott is a bit older than most of the top pitching prospects surrounding him on the top 100 list, however he only threw 121 collegiate innings at the University of Florida and is knocking on the door of his big league debut in his third pro season. Scott is the Mets best pitching prospect and should grab a spot in the rotation at some point 2024.

Ad – content continues below

26. Marcelo Mayer – SS – Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (4), 2021 (BOS) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4540/4545/5550/5055/6555

A well-rounded game with exciting potential in the batter’s box, Mayer has already shown a decent feel to hit and staying power at shortstop with still plenty of physical projection.

Offense

A sweet left-handed swing with a ton of whip, Mayer hit the ball hard and can spray it all over. Starting with his weight slightly stacked on his back leg, Mayer’s load features a pronounced barrel tip, which can disrupt his timing a bit.

With the bat starting flat to completely vertical when slotted, it adds another move to get it back flat to enter the zone. He was able to get away with this move more at the lower levels because of his feel for the stick and improved bat speed, but it has presented some challenges in Double-A.

While there is more room to fill out for Mayer, he is already tapping into above average raw power with a 90th percentile exit velocity of nearly 105 MPH and a max of 112 MPH. There’s some zone whiff for Mayer as his swing can get long on him at times, but that very well could go hand-in-hand with his pre-swing moves.

His long levers help him drive the ball with authority to all fields with carry. Already producing a bit more thump than expected, Mayer is a better hitter than his Double-A numbers would indicate. With some cleaning up of his pre-swing moves, he can develop into an average hitter with plus juice.

Defense/Speed

Though not a great runner, Mayer moves his feet well at shortstop and has all of the goods to be a plus defender there. A plus arm, soft hands, good footwork and clean actions help Mayer look silky smooth at short. Though he’s not the most incredible athlete, Mayer is able to make difficult plays look easy thanks to his instincts and impressive ability to throw from different slots.

Outlook

It was a great first full season for Mayer in just about every aspect last year. The 20-year-old produced impressive offensive numbers between Low-A and High-A while providing reason to believe that he can stick at shortstop long-term.

2023 started well for Mayer before stalling out in Double-A as one of the younger position players at the level. As he refines his aggressive approach and pre-swing moves a bit, he has a chance to develop into an exciting shortstop who can impact the game both offensively and defensively.

27. Colt Emerson – SS – Seattle Mariners

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (22) – 2023 (SEA) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6550/5540/5555/5540/5055

One of the younger prep bats in the 2023 class, Emerson’s strong summer circuit and performance for Team USA helped him rise up draft boards. Similar to 2022 first rounder Cole Young, Emerson had no issue transitioning into pro ball straight from the prep ranks, standing out right away.

Offense

Emerson boasts a smooth swing from the left-side with a good feel for the barrel. He already uses his lower half well with a smooth gathering leg kick and keeps his weight back at launch pretty well.

Already flashing above average power with room for more in his frame, Emerson has the potential to produce at least average game power as he matures. He was one of the youngest players in the class at just 17 years old on draft day.

He has an extremely quick bat with the feel for the barrel to get too tough spots. A patient hitter, the combination of Emerson’s early load and launch quickness allow him to see the ball longer and make good decisions. He ran a chase rate just under 20% in his 28 pro games. There’s potential for a plus hit tool or better.

Defense/Speed

Nothing jumps off the page when it comes to Emerson’s tools, but he also has little to no holes to poke. He is a slightly above average runner with an above average arm and soft hands. His actions are smooth for a young prep shortstop and he is comfortable making throws from different angles. He is really comfortable going to his backhand, already showing the ability to steal hits in the hole with the arm strength to make the throw.

Outlook

Through eight games at the complex and 20 more at Low-A, Emerson was fantastic, hitting .391/.500/.555 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. In four postseason games for Modesto, he picked up 11 hits, helping them to their first California League title.

How much power Emerson will hit for will ultimately determine his ceiling, but he is one of the higher floor high school prospects in the 2023 draft class with plenty in common with fellow Mariners first rounder Cole Young. He is a big name to watch in 2024.

Ad – content continues below

28. Jeferson Quero – C – Milwaukee Brewers

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $200K, 2019 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5530/3545/5545/4560/6555

An impressive defensive catcher with intriguing offensive tools, Quero’s success in both facets of the game at Double-A as 20 years old solidified him as one of the best catching prospects in the game.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

Using a rhythmic leg kick that precedes a short, flat swing, Quero repeats his moves well and produces a ton of line drives. Quero is an aggressive hitter, but drives the ball to all fields well and is able to get to pitches in difficult locations.

Like many young hitters with a solid feel to hit, Quero can give away at bats by taking “B-swings” at pitcher’s pitches early in counts. As the season has progressed, he has slowly cut down his chase rate but his lack of approach caught up to him, struggling over the final couple months of the season. Possessing a good feel for the barrel, Quero makes plenty of contact and projects as an above average hitter if can continue to rein in his high swing rate. 

Quero produced strong exit velocities in 2023, flashing plus raw pop that he started to tap into more consistently. For such an aggressive hitter, Quero identifies spin well and puts good swings on secondary stuff for a younger player at his level.

If Quero can continue to refine his approach, he could develop into an exciting blend of well-above average hit and power at the plate. 

Defense/Speed

Viewed as a glove-first catcher because of his athleticism and maturity/energy behind the dish, Quero earns high marks for the way he commands games and works with pitchers. Quero blocks and receives well while boasting a plus arm behind the dish. His defensive skillset, paired with the intangibles have Quero looking like a potential plus defender behind the dish.

Outlook

A 21-year-old catcher with plus defensive tools and plenty of offensive upside Quero has blossomed into one of the best catching prospects in the game. Despite the Southern League using experimental baseballs that inflated strikeout rates some, Quero only whiffed 18% of the time in 2023 with above average offensive numbers.

Assuming Quero can continue to improve his plate discipline and game power, he has the goods to develop into an All-Star catcher.

29. Dalton Rushing – C – Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (40), 2022 (LAD) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5065/6550/5545/4540/4555

Blocked by Henry Davis at Louisville his first two seasons, Rushing tore up the Cape Cod League before mashing to an OPS of 1.156 his junior season. It’s been more of the same for Rushing at the lower levels, putting up strong offensive numbers since being drafted.

Check out our interview with Dalton Rushing!

Offense

Rushing starts with a slightly open stance and a smooth leg kick to get into his back side. He controls his body extremely well, allowing him to consistently be on time with his compact swing. Rushing has shorter levers, but generates plenty of bat speed and has already flashed exit velocities as high as 110 MPH with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 105 MPH in 2023.

A patient hitter with a phenomenal feel for the strike zone, Rushing walked as much as he struck out both at the collegiate and professional levels last year. His smooth and repeatable swing helped him post strong numbers left-on-left as well. Running a chase rate around 15%, Rushing should be a consistent on-base threat.

It’s pretty hard to poke a hole in Rushing’s offensive game, and based on the bat alone, he could climb through the minors quickly. 

Defense/Speed

Though he is a raw catcher, Rushing has already shown signs of being a decent receiver and blocker. This isn’t a total surprise, as he is a good athlete for a catcher with average wheels. His catch and throw skills are solid, but there’s times where things just seem a bit quick for him.

After all, it is worth noting that dating back to his freshman year of college, Rushing had only caught around 70 total games going into 2023. With his athleticism and skill set, Rushing has a chance to develop into an average catcher. 

Outlook

The bat will lead the way for Rushing, as he is athletic enough to potentially move to first base or corner outfield if he does not develop behind the dish. That said, Rushing still has a chance of sticking at catcher. Offensively, Rushing is a high-floor hitter who can develop into a high OBP guy capable of launching around 20-25 homers. 

Ad – content continues below

30. Cade Horton – RHP – Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 211 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (7), 2022 (CHC) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCurveballCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
55/6065/6550/5545/5550/5560

One of the pitching breakouts of the 2023 MiLB season, the Cubs’ first round pick in 2022 has flashed an electric fastball with a devastating slider to complement it.

Arsenal

A power arsenal headlined by a plus fastball and slider, Horton sits 95-97 MPH with his heater, touching 99 MPH on occasion. He picks up plenty of whiffs at the top of the zone with it thanks to the unique carry and cut the pitch features.

Horton’s sweepy slider hovers in the mid 80s with around 11 inches of horizontal break. His ability to consistently land it for a strike (65% strike rate) paired with the sharp, late break of the pitch gives him a second plus offering. From the start of the season to Horton being placed on the development list to manage his innings (13 starts), he held opponents to a .110 batting average while going to the pitch around 30% of the time.

The third offering is a curveball also in the mid 80s which Horton has done a good job differentiating from his slider shape wise since going pro. While it still features some horizontal movement (5 inches), it has much more vertical drop (9 inches).

Though he is not as consistent in landing it for a strike as his slider, Horton’s curveball has flashed the ability to be a legitimate put away pitch as well.

Rounding out the arsenal is a changeup in the upper 80s that he recently adjusted to a split grip. It’s a work in progress, but has flashed above average with impressive arm side fade. He only made a few starts with the new changeup grip prior to being temporarily shut down, but he showed the ability to slow the spin, averaging around 1,900 RPMs. With a bit more feel for it and the ability to get the pitch to spin a bit less, it could be an above average or better offering.

Outlook

A late bloomer on the pitching side of things as a two-way player who had to undergo Tommy John surgery early in his collegiate career, Horton only tossed 53 2/3 innings at Oklahoma, but showed enough in their College World Series run to sell the Cubs on his upside.

Early returns have Horton proving the Cubs right as the athletic right-hander has pounded the zone with an electric arsenal. With two plus pitches and a legitimate chance for four big league offerings, Horton has become one of the better pitching prospects in baseball.

31. Harry Ford – C – Seattle Mariners

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (12), 2021 (SEA) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/5070/7040/5060/6040/5055

First round prep catchers have a brutal track record, but Ford is not your typical prep catcher. Easy plus speed and projectable power give Ford plenty of upside, even if he does not stick behind the dish.

Offense

A physical 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Ford generates impressive bat speed and a lofty swing geared for lift. Ford scrapped the leg kick in favor of a toe tap, which has helped mitigate some challenges against higher velocity without compromising the quality of his impact.

His path can result in a bit more whiff at the top of the zone, though he hedges that with elite plate discipline and an innate feel for the strike zone. Ford has walked at an 18% clip as a pro, while chasing just 14% of the time.

Though he is pretty filled out frame wise, Ford gotten his lower half more consistently involved in his swing and has tapping into more impact 2023. He saw nearly a two mph jump in his 90th percentile exit velocity and launched a career-best 15 homers.

While his exit velocities likely settle around average at best, his ability to consistently elevate and advanced approach give him the potential to hit 20 home runs with great on base skills.

Defense/Speed

Though he is an extremely athletic catcher, Ford’s blocking has improved but he has lapses, allowing 20 passed balls in 78 games during the 2023 season. His above average arm and twitchiness have helped him limit the run game and he earns high marks for the way he works with pitchers. His receiving has progressed well.

Ford is such a good athlete that he could probably play center field, but his improvements behind the dish make it decreasingly likely that he plays elsewhere. An easy plus runner, Ford swiped 24 bags on 32 tries in 118 games during the 2023 season.

Outlook

A smart player and grinder, Ford earns high marks for his makeup and work ethic and his steady improvements as a catcher only help validate that assertion. Even if the hit and power are closer to average, his superb on base skills and speed should help maximize his offensive value. Assuming his defense continues to progress, Ford has the upside of an above average everyday catcher who is capable of putting up 20/20 seasons.

Ad – content continues below

32. Noah Schultz – LHP – Chicago White Sox

Height/Weight: 6’9″, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (26), 2022 (CWS) | ETA: 2027

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
55/6560/7030/5035/5055

Standing at a towering 6-foot-9, Schultz throws a surprising amount of strikes with budding stuff. A shoulder impingement cut his season short, with the southpaw likely to throw just 65-80 innings according to the White Sox.

Arsenal

A tall, lanky lefty, Schultz hides the ball well until his arm whips around at a three quarter release point. Shultz sits 93-95 MPH with his fastball, touching 98 MPH with a ton of late arm side run. The late movement on Schultz’s fastball helps him get hitters to whiff or roll over it frequently. With a long, slender frame and a somewhat low-effort delivery, there’s hope that Schultz can grow into even more velocity.

Schultz’s sweeper has the potential to be a devastating pitch, averaging 16 inches of horizontal break from his low release point. He is confident during the pitch away from lefties as well as down on the back leg of righties. It was the potential to be a wipeout pitch if Schultz can command it consistently.

Rounding out the arsenal is a changeup that is still a work in progress. Schultz’s ability to use his fastball and sweeper to take care of right-handed hitters takes some pressure off of the immediate need for a changeup, but even an average change would improve Schultz’s starter outlook a good bit.

Outlook

The fact that a 6-foot-9 prep southpaw has been able to pound the strike zone in his professional debut has to have the White Sox excited about the future of their 2022 first round pick. Already possessing good stuff from a tough angle to pick up with, it seems like Schultz is still just scraping the surface of what he can be.

There’s inherent reliever risk with his build and profile, but he hedges that as much as any player of his mold could. There is frontline upside for Schultz if it all clicks, with a high probability of developing into a big league arm in some capacity.

33. Kyle Teel – C – Boston Red Sox

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 180 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (14), 2023 (BOS) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6060/6040/4550/5050/5555

An athletic left-handed hitting catcher with the potential for a plus hit tool, the Red Sox may have found their future behind the dish.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

Starting with his hands high, Teel utilizes a leg kick that gets him well into his lower half as he loads his hands deep over his back foot. Pre-swing moves that require plenty of athleticism, he controls his body well with the barrel maneuverability to get to difficult pitches or still get a decent swing off when he is fooled.

Teel does not possess a ton of power, but he consistently gets his best swing off and has room to add more strength to his wiry frame. He has average power potential, but sprays plenty of line drives gap-to-gap, even if the home run output is somewhat subdued. There should still be around 15 home run potential in there for Teel with plenty of doubles.

Between his feel for the barrel and solid approach, Teel should be a steady on-base threat who is capable of slugging enough to complement his hit-first profile.

Defense/Speed

An extremely athletic catcher, Teel moves well behind the dish and has a rocket for an arm that helped him throw out a third of attempted base stealers in his collegiate career. His receiving has been viewed as one of the weaker aspects of his game, but clearly improved over his time at Virginia. Teel has above average defensive potential at catcher and has at least average wheels.

Outlook

The ceiling may not be as high for Teel as some other top 100 prospects, but with his feel to hit from the left side and staying power at a premium position, there’s a relatively short list of catching prospects who should be ranked ahead of him.

There’s a chance for plus hit, average power, and above average defense behind the dish for Teel with the ability to climb quickly.

Ad – content continues below

34. Chase DeLauter – OF – Cleveland Guardians

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 235 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (16), 2022 (CLE) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6055/6050/6060/6045/5560

As athletic of a 6-foot-4, 230+ pound baseball player you’ll find in the Minor Leagues, DeLauter’s Junior season and professional debut was wiped out by a broken foot before another foot issue delayed his start to 2023. He has made up for lost time by putting up huge numbers in High-A, Double-A and the Arizona Fall League, flashing a potentially elite blend of hit and power.

Offense

Big and strong with a compact swing, DeLauter is direct to the baseball but still packs a punch. He struggled to control his lower half at times at James Madison University, drifting prematurely onto his front foot which could cause bat drag.

He has cleaned things up since joining the Guardians organization, engaging his lower half and holding his back hip more effectively. There’s still a noticeable slide forward as he swings, which results in the short finish that can look like he is cutting off his swing.

It is not necessarily a major detriment because of how efficient his path is, how much bat speed he generates and his barrel accuracy. The one area that could be a challenge for is hard stuff in, as it is even more difficult to avoid being crowded or tied up on velocity inside if there is any premature forward move.

He has already posted exit velocities as high as 112 mph on multiple occasions with a 90th percentile exit velocity above 104 mph in 2023. There’s likely more power in the tank as he continues to improve his base.

DeLauter’s barrel accuracy and efficiency to the ball is extremely impressive, running plus contact rates both in and out of the zone. The icing on the cake is his patient approach, drawing free passes at a decent clip, while running a chase rate below 20%. Good pitch recognition skills and impressive barrel control have helped him produce strong numbers against secondary offerings as well.

A potential blend of plus hit and power with a good approach, DeLauter boasts more offensive upside than any prospect in the Guardians system with multi-All Star upside.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner, DeLauter looks the part in centerfield with good reads and comfortable routes. If he slows down, his plus arm would play well in either corner where he could be a plus defender, but he has the ability to stick in center.

Outlook

Having only played a total of 100 collegiate games including his time on the Cape prior to his pro debut in 2023, DeLauter has had a lot of layoff time and not a lot of at bats. Factor in that DeLauter’s limited collegiate at bats was mostly against weaker competition at James Madison University and it is even more impressive how he was able to demolish his way through High-A, Double-A and the Arizona Fall League.

Potential for a rare blend of hit and power paired with good speed and a chance to stick in center give DeLauter an exciting profile that could quickly make him one of the more exciting outfield prospects in baseball. There’s shades of Kyle Tucker here.

35. Kyle Manzardo – 1B – Cleveland Guardians

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (62), 2021 (TB) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/5555/5555/5545/4550/5555

Fantastic contact skills paired with better exit velocities than his home run output may indicate, Manzardo is a high-probability big league bat who is trying to raise his ceiling.

Offense

Manzardo starts with his hands relaxed on his shoulder, using a toe tap for timing. A smooth swing with great plate coverage, his bat lives in the zone and he seems to barrel everything. The blend of whippy bat speed while living in the zone for so long helps Manzardo get to all types of pitches, posting a contact rate of 79% in 2023.

The left-handed hitter flashes plus power to his pull side and has worked to drive the ball with authority to all fields as he reached the upper levels. The effort to tap into more game power has made itself evident through a 2 mph jump in average exit velocity as well as similar gains in his 90th percentile exit velocity (104.5 mph).

Some tough batted ball luck and selling out for lift–he has the lowest ground ball rate of all qualified Triple-A hitters in 2023–may have negatively impacted his batting average, but he found more balance as the year progressed.

His fantastic feel to hit, great approach, and above average raw power already give Manzardo the floor of one of the safer bats in the Minor Leagues. Even with 20-25 home run power, he should be an above average regular, but there’s hope he can reach closer to 30 home runs at his peak with the progress he has made impact wise.

Defense/Speed

An average runner, Manzardo will not provide a ton of value with his legs or glove, but he should be an average defender or better at first base.

Outlook

The way Manzardo controls his at-bats, as well as the barrel, is impressive to watch. How much power he taps into will ultimately determine his ceiling, but even above average game power should be enough for him to be solid big league bat because of his well-rounded offensive game. Manzardo is a high probability regular who can carry the offensive weight of first base even if he is closer to 20 home runs than 30.

Ad – content continues below

36. Jett Williams – SS – New York Mets

Height/Weight: 5’8″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (14) – 2022 (NYM) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5570/7035/4560/6040/5055

Compact but explosive, Williams is a great athlete with more impact than his frame would suggest. His polish at the plate helped him make quick work of the lower levels.

Offense

A relaxed, narrow setup, Williams uses a decent-sized leg kick to gather into his back hip, but controls his lower half well. Despite his smaller frame, Williams is strong with a powerful lower-half, using the ground well to create power.

Between his lower half control and minimal movement with his hand load, Williams is consistently on time and makes elite swing decisions. He is one of the most patient hitters in the Minor Leagues, running a chase rate of just 12% in 2023.

Producing average exit velocities, Williams consistently drives the ball in the air with good carry (35% ground ball rate), giving him a chance to hit for average game power. Nothing jumps off of the page with Williams offensively, but he is solid across the board and gets the most out of his tools with his elite feel for the strike zone and overall knack for hitting.

Defense/Speed

An easy plus runner, Williams is a phenomenal athlete who the Mets have already played at shortstop, second base, and center field. He could become a passable defender at shortstop, having cleaned up his his footwork some since entering pro ball, but his actions still leave a bit to be desired.

Williams has the fall back of second base where he should be an above average defender, though he has also seen some action in centerfield where his great speed and good arm would profile well. Aggressive on the bases, Williams swiped 45 bags on 52 tries in the 2023 season.

Outlook

It’s easy to see why the Mets are so excited about their 2022 first round selection. He combines a high-floor offensive profile with dynamic athleticism and just enough impact to provide exciting upside.

A sure thing to be a consistent on-base threat, he and Termarr Johnson became the first teenagers since 2005 to walk 100 times in a Minor League season. Williams could provide value with the glove at second base or even in centerfield if he gets more reps out there. A well-rounded profile, he seems like a relatively safe bet to be a good big league regular.

37. Robby Snelling – LHP – San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/L | 1st Round (39), 2022 (SDP) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
55/5555/6045/5555/6055

A top linebacker recruit in high school, Snelling is one of the most athletic pitchers you’ll find. His advanced pitchability and developing stuff have him rising quickly and earned him Just Baseball’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Arsenal

A good feel for three pitches, Snelling features a fastball, curveball and changeup that can all be above average. Starting with his fastball, Snelling sits 92-94 MPH, touching 96 MPH. The pitch features a decent amount of carry, averaging around 18 inches of induced vertical break.

Snelling’s slurvy breaking ball flashes plus, with two-plane break. He has a great feel for the pitch, landing it for a strike around 65% with the ability to manipulate it. As a result, Snelling is comfortable weaponizing it against both left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters if his changeup isn’t there.

The changeup sits 85-87 MPH with decent fade. It’s inconsistent for Snelling at this point, but flashes above average and induces a good amount of weak contact. If he can find a more consistent feel for his change, it could give him a third above average offering.

Outlook

An advanced prep arm, Snelling hit the ground running by dominating Low-A and High-A competition. His athleticism helps him repeat his delivery consistently, already boasting above average command with the potential for plus. In a conversation with Just Baseball, Snelling worked hard on his changeup following the 2023 season, feeling good about his progress he has made.

There’s already good shape to his fastball, but if Snelling sees an uptick in velocity, it could easily enter plus territory. His great feel for a good breaking ball and developing changeup have him looking like a high probability big league starter with the upside of a borderline No. 2 or No. 3.

Ad – content continues below

38. Spencer Jones – OF – New York Yankees

Height/Weight: 6’7″, 225 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (22), 2022 (NYY) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4540/5055/7060/6040/5060

Huge power potential blended with exceptional athleticism for a 6-foot-7 outfielder make Jones a project worth dreaming about.

Offense

Jones starts upright and slightly open with his hands resting close to his slot, helping him minimize his pre-swing movement. Because he is so big and powerful, Jones does not require much effort to do damage. His setup putting him near his launch position has helped him be on time and control his long levers.

With his lack of negative move, there’s an added emphasis on being able to hold his back hip through launch which has become a bit of a challenge for him against professional off speed. When Jones holds his base, he puts up exit velocities over 110 MPH with relative ease and even when he is out on his front foot a bit, he is capable of producing major impact with a “B swing”.

Jones has been on his front foot far too often as a pro, causing him to swing over secondary stuff and rollover too often. The overall contact rate for Jones is not bad (72%), providing hope that he can hit enough, especially as his plate discipline continues to improve.

Even if the hit tool is fringy, Jones’ plus plus power could make him a middle of the order masher with added emphasis on his developing ability to work free passes. Jones adjusted his bat position slightly ahead of 2024 Spring Training and though it was a small sample, the tweak seemed to help him keep the bat in the zone longer. The contact skills have progressed as Jones has compiled at bats, though he will need to drive the ball in the air more consistently to tap into his massive power ceiling.

Defense/Speed

An impressive athlete in just about every way, Jones posts above-average run times and ran his fastball up to 94 MPH when he was a pitching prospect in high school. Jones has since had a couple elbow issues, which could impact his arm strength some, but he should grade out as above-average in that department at the very least.

Jones moves well for his size covering a lot of ground with his long strides. He consistently posts above-average run times and has a chance to stick in center field if he can continue to get more comfortable with his reads and routes. He is not afraid to steal bases and should be a threat on the bases. He swiped 43 bags on 55 tries in 2023.

Outlook

There’s not much precedent for a prospect like Jones. The hesitance around such a profile caused James Wood of the Nationals to slip to the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft and Spencer Jones to “fall” to the Yankees at 22nd overall .

While there may be a bit more whiff than expected in the early going, it’s important to note that Jones entered 2023 having only played 159 games since his freshman year of college, and that is including the Cape Cod League.

The 2023 season was not a bad one for Jones, but it also was a battle for him at times. Considering his minimal reps relative to just about any first round bat, slightly above average offensive numbers at High-A and Double-A in his first full pro season did not hurt his case at all, even with a strikeout rate of 29%. Following that up with a very strong showing in Spring Training only added to the intrigue heading into 2024.

Acknowledging the risk involved, there is All-Star upside to dream on with Jones as a monster-sized power threat who moves way better than he should in center and he showed that he can make a fair amount of contact. An improved approach and more consistent elevation could make Jones one of the most dynamic prospects in baseball.

39. Jacob Misiorowski – RHP – Milwaukee Brewers

Height/Weight: 6’7″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (149), 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLCUTTERCURVEBALLCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
70/8050/6060/7040/5030/3555

A tall, lanky, explosive right-hander, Misiorowski can already touch 102 MPH with his fastball with a pair of wipeout secondaries.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Arsenal

You will primarily see the fastball, cutter, and curveball from Misiorowski, but he will mix in a low 90s changeup on occasion. The fastball is Misiorowksi’s best pitch, averaging 98 MPH while routinely touching triple digits. 

A pitch that has simply overpowered lower level hitters, the fastball features good carry at the top of the zone. Some of Misiorowski’s fastballs will flash more arm-side run than others, but that could be a result of his inconsistent delivery. Through his first 16 outings of 2023, opponents hit just .155 against the fastball with a 17% swinging strike rate.

The go-to out pitch for the big right-hander is his sweeping curve in the mid 80s. He has a decent feel for it, landing the pitch for a strike just shy of 60% of the time while holding opponents to an OPS below .400. The downward action of the pitch off of his lively fastball makes for a tunneling nightmare for hitters when Misiorowski is able to hit his spots. 

The third big whiff offering for Misiorowksi is his hard cutter in the low 90s. It is less consistent than his other two offerings due to inconsistent release and action. Sometimes it will break like a true cutter, and others will back up on him at 93-94 MPH. Whether it backs up to his arm side or cuts glove side, hitters have a really tough time with it when it’s around the zone, posting a ridiculous 22% swinging strike rate and 45% in-zone whiff rate. With even fringy command of the pitch, it could be an elite third offering. 

Rounding out the arsenal for Misiorowski is a hard changeup in the low 90s. The pitch is firm and inconsistent, but has flashed some potential. He has only thrown a handful this season.

Outlook

There’s clear reliever risk with a pitcher of Misiorwski’s profile and high effort delivery, but the stuff is good enough to give him frontline upside with the fall back option of one of baseball’s best relievers. The 21-year-old will need to clean up his mechanics and cut down the walk rate, but the upside is as tantalizing as any pitching prospect in the game. 

Boasting an elite fastball/breaking ball combination with a cutter that is not far off from giving him a third plus offering, Misiorowski has a rare arsenal from a rare frame.

Ad – content continues below

40. Heston Kjerstad – OF – Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (2), 2020 (BAL) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5535/4050/5540/4045/5055

The second overall pick in 2020, health issues delayed Kjerstad’s professional debut to 2022. He quickly made up for lost time by mashing across every level, including the Arizona Fall League. He has steadily minimized whiff while maximizing power.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Offense

It appears as though Kjerstad has a lot of moving parts to his swing, but when you boil it down, his load and swing are repeatable for him. Kjerstad uses a loose, rotational bat waggle, similar to Houston’s Jeremy Peña, which helps him get slotted. His leg kick is sizable, but he starts it early and holds his back hip extremely well.

Kjerstad’s body control and hip mobility is impressive and allows him to not only generate power and lift, but also consistently repeat his swing. His 90th percentile exit velocity of 106 MPH and max of 114 MPH is in the plus territory and his ability to hit the ball in the air with consistency helps him get into his pop in games.

As he has gotten back into the swing of things, the contact rates have steadily improved to above average despite climbing levels relatively quickly to compensate for his two lost seasons.

In his first 50 games at Triple-A, Kjerstad ran a zone contact rate of 88% while punching out just 19% of the time.

One area where he could improve is his swing decisions and aggressiveness. A 35% chase rate is well above league-average and results in more weak contact than Kjerstad may like as he will at times expand the zone in advantage counts when he should be shrinking it.

Again, he missed a huge portion of his development, and has simply seen less professional pitches than just about anyone in Triple-A. The fact that Kjerstad is still running relatively high contact rates and low chase rates despite his aggressiveness is another indication of his feel for the barrel.

As his approach improves, he can become a comfortably above average hitter with a chance for plus game power.

Defense/Speed

Though he is a below average runner, Kjerstad moves well enough in the outfield to make the plays he needs to make and has a plus arm to supplement things. He has a true right fielder’s profile and should be an average defender there. 

Outlook

Few prospects have improved their outlook more than Heston Kjerstad over the last calendar year. He has leaped from a high strikeout rate in High-A (after a two-year layoff) and later getting more reps in the Arizona Fall League to demolishing the upper levels with an overall strikeout rate of just 17% in his first taste.

The fact that the power-hitting outfielder reached Triple-A in just over 100 professional games is remarkable, and he has continued to mature at the plate as he compiles more at-bats just one step away from the big leagues. Kjerstad is a high probability big league regular with the potential to be a middle-of-the-order threat.

41. Jefferson Rojas – SS – Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $1M – 2021 (CHC) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
45/5540/5045/5550/5050/5555

After a strong showing in extended Spring Training, Rojas earned an aggressive assignment to Low-A shortly after his 18th birthday and put up strong numbers.

Offense

Still a bit raw offensively, Rojas relies on natural ability in the box, making a fair amount of contact and flashing above average power potential. He handled an aggressive Low-A assignment well, posting a .750 OPS as an 18-year-old with steady contact rates (84% zone contact).

His path could use a bit of work, at times getting too horizontal with a little extra slack, causing hard fastballs to get in on him. But, he has also flashed the bat speed and hand quickness to still turn hard stuff around.

Already hitting multiple home runs 107 MPH, Rojas has more room for strength and probably has more power in his present fame as is if he can find some more consistency with his lower half. Like so many young hitters, Rojas can leak forward a bit prematurely and is not always connected with his upper half and lower half.

He almost surely will add at least some strength as he matures, and as you pair that with some better swing patterning as he gains experience, above average power seems attainable. His feel for the barrel is good, with the ability to drive the ball to all fields.

As Rojas cleans up his path and learns to control his body a bit better, he could offer above average hit with at least average power, though I’m betting on a bit more.

Defense/Speed

A slightly above average runner, Rojas is more quick than fast with a good first step and solid range at shortstop. His comfortably above average arm and advanced actions for his age should not only help him stick at the position, but potentially be above average there. He has a good internal clock and instincts, which should only help him continue to develop well at the position.

Outlook

It’s very early in the development of Rojas and the way that the Cubs have handled him should be a clue into how excited the team is both about his potential and his maturity. Launching a moon shot off of Zach Davies and putting together competitive at-bats against other more experienced arms at extended Spring Training helped his case prior to the assignment to Myrtle Beach.

If Rojas can clean up some of his moves in the box, there is exciting offensive potential while adding value with the glove at shortstop. Again, it’s early, so the projections can change, but a .270 hitter with around 20 home runs and above average shortstop defense doesn’t seem entirely far fetched.

Ad – content continues below

42. Sebastian Walcott – 3B – Texas Rangers

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $3.2M – 2023 (TEX) | ETA: 2028

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
35/5035/4545/6555/5535/4555

A big-framed teenager who produced exit velocities as high as 112 MPH prior to his 18th birthday, Walcott boasts big time power potential.

Offense

Walcott starts upright with his hands rested on his shoulder with a big leg kick and a quiet hand load. He generates plus bat speed and exciting power with long levers that he already controls relatively well. Already flashing plus power with even more to his pull side, Walcott has has the potential to produce special impact.

Like many young, powerful hitters Walcott has the tendency to yank off of the ball, selling out for pull side power. When he gets a hanger or a fastball middle-in, it’s majestic, but it causes more rollovers and struggles with breaking balls away.

Standing at 6-foot-4 as a 17-year-old, Walcott is still learning to control his body throughout his swing, but as he matures at the plate, he could develop into an average hitter.

Defense/Speed

An above average runner, Walcott is a candidate to slow down a bit as he thickens and his actions/footwork at shortstop are a bit shaky. His plus arm would play well at third base where he could develop into a decent defender.

Outlook

One of the highest variance prospects on the top 100 list, Walcott forced his way into the converastion with batted ball data that you just don’t see from 17-year-olds and even more projection in the tank. While his strikeout rate elevated at the Complex, Walcott’s contact rate within the zone and developing approach provide optimism that he can improve in that regard.

There is elite power potential from Walcott who creates impressive leverage with his swing despite it still being somewhat of a work in progress.

43. Drew Thorpe – RHP – Chicago White Sox

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (61), 2022 (NYY) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLSLIDERCUTTERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
50/5055/6045/4580/8060/6055

Drafted in the second round for his fantastic changeup and track record of throwing strikes, Thorpe worked worked at the Yankees complex rather than making his pro debut in 2022 and saw his entire arsenal make a leap in his first pro season. After posting some of the best numbers in the Minor Leagues, he was a key part of the Juan Soto return for the Padres.

Arsenal

After the Yankees selected Thorpe, they worked with him to gain some velocity and improve his breaking ball shape. He saw his fastball jump a tick, now averaging a hair over 92 MPH with pretty good carry. A bigger frame with a low effort delivery, there’s some hope that Thorpe can find another tick.

The bread and butter for the right-hander is his plus plus changeup that mirrors his fastball until the last 15 feet, when it fades with lethal arm side movement and 10 MPH of separation from his fastball. His short, over-the-top arm action makes all of his offerings a tunneling nightmare for hitters, especially the changeup.

Opponents hit just .125 against the pitch with a 53% strikeout rate and 33% swinging strike rate. When hitters do make contact, it is often weak or on the ground, running a 63% ground ball rate with the offering.

While nearly half of his strikeouts came via the changeup in 2023, Thorpe’s slider has become his go-to strikeout pitch against right-handed hitters. There’s two variations of Thorpe’s slider that could qualify as two different pitches, one at 83-85 MPH with more sweep and the other at 81-83 MPH with gyro break.

Against both iterations of his breaking ball, opponents hit just .180 with a 45% strikeout rate and 23% swinging strike rate. While he will mix in some breaking balls to lefties, he predominately uses it to right-handed hitters.

Rounding out Thorpe’s arsenal is an average cutter that he will mix in to left-handed hitters to disrupt the fastball, changeup sequence. It features some late bite and dive, picking up plenty of ground balls (60%) when located well, but can get hit hard when he leaves it up. While not a big whiff pitch, it’s a good taste breaker and weak contact inducer.

Outlook

Plus command of an assortment of offerings including one of the best changeups in the Minor Leagues, Thorpe is easily the highest floor arm with the ability to miss enough bats to provide middle-of-the-rotation upside, especially if he sees his stuff jump another tick.

He will likely begin the season at Double-A or Triple-A, but depending on the Yankees’ starting pitching situation next season, Thorpe could be polished enough to make a case out of camp and is already ramped up for a big league workload after tossing 139 1/3 innings in 2023.

Ad – content continues below

44. AJ Smith-Shawver – RHP – Atlanta Braves

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 205 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 7th Round (217), 2021 (ATL) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLSLIDERCURVEBALLChangeupCOMMANDFV
55/6060/6050/5550/5540/5055

An athletic right-hander with electric stuff, the Braves signed Smith-Shawver for an over-slot $1 million to forgo his two-way commitment to Texas Tech. After just 77 Minor League innings between the Complex and Low-A prior to 2023, Smith-Shawver rocketed to an MLB debut on June 4th of this season. He struggled with his command at the highest level, but offers plenty of promise.

Arsenal

Smith-Shawver diced through lower level competition with his lively fastball and sharp slider. The fastball sits 95-97 mph, touching 99 mph with decent carry. Smith-Shawver did not quite overpower big league hitters with his fastball to the same degree as he had the tendency to miss over the middle, but the heater has a chance to be plus.

Smith-Shawver’s best secondary offering is his mid 80s slider with cutterish, late break. He has a lot of confidence in the offering, upping his usage in 2023. The shorter break of the pitch allows him to effectively use it against both-handed hitters.

The pitch cuts away from righties, but even when it bats up on him it is effective. When the pitch is located in on righties, it ties them up effectively, but the action on the pitch also makes it extremely effective at the bottom of the zone. The unique profile of Smith-Shawver’s slider should help him buck the trend of most fastball/slider arms being split-heavy.

The second breaking ball is an above average curveball that he will mix in around 10% of the time. The downer curve has plenty of depth, featuring around 15 inches of vertical break in the 79-81 mph range. With an improved feel to land it for a strike, the curve should be a viable third offering for him.

Rounding out the arsenal is a changeup that Smith-Shawver worked to develop during the offseason with strong results during camp and Spring Training. The upper 80s pitch could overtake his curveball as his third offering and lefty-neutralizer.

Outlook

It’s rare to see a high school drafted arm reach Triple-A in the first half of his second pro season, but it is a testament to the quality of stuff and athleticism Smith-Shawver boasts on the mound. The 21-year-old has battled some command issues which could be a combination of inexperience and trusting his stuff against advanced competition.

With a quality four pitch mix and exciting athleticism on the mound, Smith-Shawver offers plenty of upside. He will need to fill up the zone more, especially with his secondaries, to reach his middle rotation upside.

45. Brooks Lee – SS – Minnesota Twins

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: S/R | 1st Round (8) – 2022 (MIN) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
60/6040/4040/4545/4550/5055

Viewed by many as the safest bat in the 2022 draft class, the switch-hitting Lee has flown through the Minor League ranks on the back of his plus-plus hit tool.

Offense

When you watch Lee hit, it is easy to understand how he was so consistent through his three collegiate seasons at Cal Poly where he slashed .351/.426/.647. Lee’s swing from the left-side is as pretty as they come; it’s short, quick and repeatable with sneaky pull-side power. He also has a great feel for the barrel with the ability to get to tough pitches or shoot the ball through a hole when he is fooled.

His right-handed swing is a more mechanical and less fluid, but he still makes a fair amount of contact. Fortunately, the majority of his at-bats will come from the left side.

Lee has average power to his pull side and will pick his spots to try to do damage. While his average exit velocities are average, he has flashed a max of 109 MPH.

A zone contact rate just shy of 90% and overall contact rate of 79%, Lee is rarely going to punch out and will work a fair amount of free passes. He has the tendency to get very contact-oriented, hitting more balls into the ground than desired and perhaps taking a few too many “B” swings in early or even counts, but he has improved in that regard as he has become acclimated to pro ball.

Lee is a high probability big leaguer with the ability to hit for a high average with plenty of doubles. If he can push closer to 20 home runs instead of 10, that would of course elevate his ceiling, but Lee will likely land somewhere in the middle.

Defense/Speed

Fundamentally sound and instinctual, Lee is a consistent defender at shortstop. The added strength/weight has slowed Lee down a tick, giving him fringy range. He has a good arm and can make all of the throws as well as smooth actions, however he is likely to be closer to an average defender at the position. Though he should be able to play a good enough shortstop to stick, he profiles as an above average third baseman as well.

Outlook

Viewed as a high-level draft prospect dating back to his high school days, Lee elected to play for his father at Cal Poly where he raked for three seasons as well as on the Cape. It’s been more of the same for him in pro ball, solidifying what is one of the higher floors and stronger track records in the Minor Leagues. Lee may lack the tools to be a superstar, but he has a great chance of being an above average big leaguer.

Ad – content continues below

46. Brady House – 3B – Washington Nationals

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (11), 2021 (WAS) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/5030/4045/6050/5055/6055

Injuries plagued House’s first full pro season, but he returned healthy in 2023 and mashed his way from Low-A to Double-A in his age-19 season.

Offense

A simple set up and pre-swing moves, House features a minimal hand load from his starting position along with a low, hovering leg kick that he starts early. He consistently is in position to see the ball early, perhaps resulting in a bit more aggressiveness at the plate (37% chase), but it has also helped him make more consistent contact across multiple levels.

For a hitter with plus raw power, House’s swing is a bit flat, resulting in more ground balls than desired and suppressed game power. He puts on shows in batting practice with the ability to demolish upper deck tanks, but in games, House appears to be more contact-oriented at this stage.

He still hits the ball hard consistently, running a 90th percentile exit velocity of 107 MPH while flashing exit velocities as high as 113 MPH. If House can create a bit more leverage in his swing and improve his selectiveness at the plate, he could develop into an offensive force.

Defense/Speed

Drafted as a shortstop, the big-bodied House as since moved over to the hot corner where he has solid range and a big arm to give him well above average defensive potential. As he gains reps, he could develop into a plus defender at the position.

Though not a clog on the base paths, House is an average runner who won’t try to steal very often.

Outlook

In what is his first full healthy season, House quickly reminded everybody why the Nationals selected him 11th overall in 2021. He has the raw power potential to hit 30 home runs with a feel to hit that continues to improve. Providing defensive value at the hot corner as well, House has All-Star potential if he can cut down on the chase and drive the ball in the air with more consistency. He likely settles as a volatile, power hitting third baseman who racks up above average WAR figures through slug and defense.

47. Adael Amador – 2B – Colorado Rockies

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 190 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $1.5M – 2019 (COL) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
70/7055/5535/4550/5040/5055

A switch hitter who also happens to be one of the best bat-to-ball prospects in the Minor Leagues, Amador boasts sneaky power as well, making him a potentially dynamic top-of-the-order threat.

Offense

Amador is a polished hitter who repeats his moves well with great timing. From the left side, Amador utilizes a gathering leg kick in tandem with a rhythmic hand load with impressive control. The way he is able to duplicate his swings and approaches at-bats is reminiscent of a big league veteran.

From the right side, Amador’s lower half is a bit less involved, resulting in a little less power output. Amador makes up for it with elite bat-to-ball skills and low chase rates. You’ll see Amador use his leverage counts to swing for more more frequently from the left side, but he is adept to adjusting within at-bats and catering his approach to the situation.

From the left-side, Amador is a plus-plus hitter, running some of the best contact rates in the Minor Leagues (94% zone contact and 89% overall contact). For reference, the only qualified hitters at the MLB level with a zone contact rate above 93% in 2023 are Miami’s Luis Arraez and the Cubs’ Nick Madrigal. Of course, it’s much harder to make contact at those rates at the MLB level compared to High-A, but Amador already puts up higher exit velocities than the aforementioned two.

Amador has steadily put on some muscle since signing and has room for some a bit more strength as well. His 90th percentile exit velocity is just a hair above average at 102 MPH, but he will surprise evaluators (and opponents) with exit velocities as high as 110 MPH.

Amador’s sneaky exit velocities are more likely to translate into a higher BABIP and plenty of doubles as opposed to home runs, as his flat swing results in more line drives and hard hit ground balls (as well as elite contact rates). He could benefit from elevating a bit more, though he did a better job of that as the 2023 season progressed.

Most hitters who make as much contact as Amador tend to be aggressive at the plate, he is the opposite. Running a chase rate below 20%, he has walked more than he has struck out as a pro.

As a switch hitter with arguably the best hit-tool in all of the minor leagues who is on track to play his home games in one of baseball’s most spacious outfields, Amador could very well compete for batting titles while hitting the ball hard enough to avoid any kind of “slap hitter” label.

Defense/Speed

With relatively average defensive tools across the board, there’s a chance Amador could move to second base, where his defense would likely be more impactful. His actions have smoothed out a bit as he continues to rack up reps, but his arm is just average, as is his range. He could get by at shortstop, but Amador projects best at second base.

An average runner, Amador is probably not going to steal bases in bunches, but he is quick enough be a positive on the base paths overall and pick his spots to steal.

Outlook

Amador started his 2023 season a couple weeks late due to an injury before returning to post a .907 OPS through 54 High-A games. Unfortunately, he broke his hamate bone, sidelining him for two months and limiting him to just 10 Double-A games after his return.

The switch-hitter has a strong case as the best bat-to-ball prospect in the Minor Leagues with the potential for average power and a knack for drawing walks. Between his defensive skillset and the presence of Ezequiel Tovar at the big league level, a move to second base seems imminent. Regardless, Amador’s bat and approach should carry him up the Minor League ranks quicker than most of his peers, with the upside of becoming one of the best average/on base guys at the highest level.

Ad – content continues below

48. Noble Meyer – RHP – Miami Marlins

Height/Weight: 6’5″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (10), 2023 (MIA) | ETA: 2026

FASTBALLSlIDERChangeupCOMMANDFV
55/6560/7040/5540/5055

A tall right-hander with exciting stuff and advanced command for his profile, Meyer offers all of the upside you want to see from a prep arm with a much better chance to start than most.

Arsenal

A loose, long arm action from a three-quarters arm slot, Meyer repeats his delivery well. His fastball sits 92-94 MPH, touching 97 MPH with plenty of horizontal movement. The late arm side run from Meyer’s lower release point should help him pick up a nice mixture of whiffs and ground balls.

Meyer’s 82-84 MPH sweeping slider is his best pitch, averaging 2,900 RPMs. It dives away from right-handed hitters, picking up ugly swings and Meyer is comfortable burying it on the back leg of lefties as well. It was the potential to be a plus plus pitch.

Rounding out Meyer’s arsenal is a changeup that he is still trying to find a feel for. It tends to get firm on him in the upper 80s, but flashes decent arm side fade.

Outlook

The top prep arm in the 2023 draft, Meyer already possesses two plus pitches with the ability to repeat his delivery. His command has been a bit inconsistent in the early stages of his pro career, but that is to be expected from a 6-foot-5 prep arm with a somewhat unique release. The development of Meyer’s changeup will be something to monitor, but being a Marlins farmhand, he’s in the right organization for that.

With his slender frame and relatively low-effort mechanics, Meyer could easily see an uptick in velocity that would have him sitting closer to the mid 90s and raise his ceiling, though his stuff already looks like it could be middle-rotation caliber as is.

49. Kevin McGonigle – SS – Detroit Tigers

Height/Weight: 5’11”, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/R | CB-A (37) – 2023 (DET) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6560/6035/4555/5540/5055

Ahead of his years at the plate with impressive overall baseball instincts, McGonigle adjusted to pro ball seamlessly and looks like he could climb quickly.

Offense

A wide, slightly open setup, McGonigle starts well into his legs and uses a toe tap load as his weight shifts into his backside. With two strikes, he will get even deeper into his lower half in his set up while choking up a bit on the bat.

A short, quick swing, McGonigle has an excellent feel for the barrel with the adjustability to get to tough pitches in various spots. An extremely patient hitter, McGonigle only chased around 13% of pitches in his pro debut and walked more than he struck out.

While the power just flashes average at this point, McGonigle can spray balls with some authority to all fields. He already looks comfortable in left-on-left matchups, staying on breaking balls while still turning around velocity in. Between his bat to ball skills and approach, McGonigle has a great chance to develop into a plus hitter and could add close to average power.

Defense/Speed

Despite both an average arm and range, McGonigle moves his feet well enough and puts himself in good spots to make plays at shortstop. He works low to the ground and reads contact off of the bat well, boasting impressive overall instincts and comfort throwing on the run and from different angles.

While his average athleticism may limit him from being an impact defender at shortstop, he may be capable of sticking there thanks to his strong actions and feel for the game. If he moves to second base, he’d be an above average defender there.

Outlook

Already looking like a steal in the compensation round of the 2023 MLB Draft, the Tigers shelled out $2.85 million ($500K over slot) to sign him away from Auburn. We only have a 24-game sample to work with at this point, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a bad at-bat in that span, and he stood out against fellow first-rounders Noble Meyer and Thomas White as well as some rehabbing big leaguers.

McGonigle similarly stuck out against elite competition when playing against top arms for Team USA and the summer circuit. With his track record and early performance, he is a candidate to climb quickly. He has the goods to be a top of the order threat who can play all over the infield.

Ad – content continues below

50. Brandon Sproat – RHP – New York Mets

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (56) – NYM (2023) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSliderCURVEBALLCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/7055/5550/5060/7040/5055

Drafted by the Mets twice, (90th overall in 2022), it was dazzling stuff that made Sproat a first round candidate as the 2023 draft approached, however below average command dropped him to the second round. There’s risk and a wide range of outcomes, with the high-end being too tantalizing to overlook.

Arsenal

A four-pitch mix, Sproat boasts three above average offerings with his fastball and changeup being plus. Featuring a four-seamer and two-seamer at the University of Florida, Sproat has since cut down his usage of the latter in favor of his four-seam fastball with improved ride in the upper 90s. Sproat has continued to gain velocity as he compiles professional starts, frequently topping triple digits.

His power changeup at 88-92 mph is a devastating put-away pitch to both lefties and righties. Averaging 16 inches of horizontal break and a screwball type of action, the pitch is similar to the “splinker” of Paul Skenes. Sproat has continued to improve his feel for it and picks up disheveled swings from hitters.

Sproat has a pair of breaking balls, previously favoring his mid 80s gyro slider, but after tweaking his curveball to be shorter and sharper, he has upped the usage in 2024. Four average or better offerings flirting with double plus gives Sproat an arsenal that is as impressive as any arm in the Mets system.

Outlook

Stuff wasn’t an issue for Sproat, but he emerged in 2024 with a more complete arsenal. The concern for the right-hander is his command, often struggling to time up his long arm action. He has looked more comfortable repeating his delivery and filling up the zone as he gets more pro innings under his belt, providing optimism for average command.

If he can continue to cut down on the high number of non-competitive pitches, Sproat’s stuff is good enough to get away with a higher walk rate. Already fighting off the reliever risk, Sproat has flashed No. 2 upside with the fall back of a volatile late-rotation arm or elite high-leverage reliever.

51. Tommy Troy – SS – Arizona Diamondbacks

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (12), 2023 (ARI) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5540/4545/5560/6040/5055

A well-rounded offensive game with impressive athleticism, Troy is a complete player with a strong track record.

Offense

A slow, early load, Troy uses a smooth gathering leg kick to get slotted. He features above average bat speed and an explosive lover half that helps him produce above average power. Troy’s hands work really well, turning around velocity along with an ability to manipulate the barrel.

Troy produced elite contact rates at Stanford while flashing exit velocities as high as 113 MPH with metal. He can aggressive at times, expanding the zone with “B” swings in counts that he does not have to, which is relatively common for hitters with the bat to ball skills that Troy has.

With better swing decisions he should tap into more game power by leveraging his hitter’s counts to get into his pull side power. There’s potential for fringe-plus hit and above average power as he continues to trend in the right direction.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner, Troy is athletic and versatile in the infield, capable of playing solid defense at any spot. His average arm is probably stretched thin at shortstop but he is capable there and should receive a fair amount of looks from the D-backs at the position. Troy profiles best at second base long term.

After stealing just 9 bags in his first two collegiate seasons, Troy swiped 17 on 20 tries in his junior year and has shown much of the same comfort on the bases in the pros.

Outlook

Athletic and versatile with the potential for an exciting offensive profile, Troy was a slam dunk top 15 pick in the 2023 draft as a high-floor college bat who still provides an exciting ceiling. Though he can get away with an elevated ground ball rate because of his feel to hit, above average exit velocities and speed, Troy will need to drive the ball in the air a bit more to reach his offensive ceiling. It’s early, but that ceiling could be a high batting average with around 20 homers.

Ad – content continues below

52. Jairo Iriarte – RHP – Chicago White Sox

Height/Weight: 6’5″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $75K, 2018 (SDP) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/7060/7050/5535/4555

Signed for just $75,000 out of Venezuela, Iriarte saw his stuff jump nearly three ticks in 2023, helping him post the highest strikeout rate of his professional career and reach Double-A shortly after his 21st birthday.

AD

Arsenal

Power stuff across the board, Iriarte’s double plus fastball leads the way, sitting 95-97 MPH with exploding life. Upper 90s heaters get on hitters quickly as is, but the combination of Iriarte’s flat vertical attack angle (-4.2) and seven feet of extension causes hitters to often miss under and late. He can run it up as high as 99 MPH.

Working off of his fastball is a sharp slider in the mid 80s and a hard changeup in the low 90s. Iriarte used his slider more frequently in 2023, going to it with 35% of his offerings and holding opponents to just a .150 batting average.

The sharp and late break the pitch features makes it effective against both lefties and righties, holding hitters to a .150 batting average in 2023. If Iriarte can fill up the zone a bit more than his 58% strike rate in 2023, it could very well enter plus-plus territory.

Rounding out his arsenal a low 90s power changeup similar to what you will see many of the Miami Marlins’ young pitchers throw. He has cut his usage of the pitch a bit, as his slider has become a weapon for both-handed hitters, but he will still mix it in around 15% of the time.

It’s an above average offering with decent fade, more often used as a weak contact inducer than a put-away pitch. He yielded a 58% ground ball rate with his changeup in 2023, but still picked up a fair amount of whiff early in counts. Where he can run into trouble at times is when the pitch firms up on him and/or he misses upstairs.

Outlook

The combination of Iriarte’s electric stuff, loose, quick arm speed and tough release point make it easy to understand how he struck out 33% of batters in 2023. His delivery can be a bit inconsistent at times, evident by his 12% walk rate, but he has flashed stretches of solid command, especially with his fastball.

Iriarte has grown several inches and put on a fair amount of strength since signing with the Padres in 2018, now standing at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds. He has become a power pitcher in every sense, and if his command can take a step forward in 2024, the Padres could have a middle-rotation piece for the foreseeable future. If not, he has the stuff to be an elite high-leverage bullpen arm.

53. Rhett Lowder – RHP – Cincinnati Reds

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (7), 2022 (CIN) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
50/5560/6055/6060/6055

Lowder made his closing argument as the second best college arm in the 2023 draft by going toe-to-toe with Paul Skenes in a winner-take-all semifinal game in Omaha. He may not have frontline stuff, but Lowder has a good arsenal with a great feel to pitch.

Arsenal

While his fastball may lag behind his high-quality secondaries, the pre-draft concerns around Lowder’s fastball appear to be a bit overblown. He sits 93-95 MPH with his heater, occasionally touching 97 MPH with some arm side run. He may not overpower hitters with it, but still picks up some whiff and plenty of ground balls. 

Lowder has an excellent feel for his secondaries, with both his slider and changeup flashing plus. He spots both consistently, landing them for strike around 70% of the time. His slider is his most consistent pitch, mixing it in 40% of the time his junior season with success against both lefties and righties. It features plenty of sweep from his three quarters release point. 

The third pitch for Lowder is an above average changeup that flashes plus. He will throw it at around 85-88 MPH with late fade and landing it for a strike around two-thirds of the time. Though a primary weapon to left-handed hitters, Lowder uses it effectively right-on-right sporadically.

Outlook

Phenomenal command and at least above average secondaries make Lowder not only a high-probability MLB starter, but also an arm that can climb quickly. He has at least middle-rotation upside with as good of a shot at sticking as a No. 4/No. 5 type as almost any arm in the top 100.

54. Lazaro Montes – OF – Seattle Mariners

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 250 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $2.5M – 2022 (SEA) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
30/4050/5555/7030/3030/3555

An imposing figure with as much raw power as you’re going to see from a teenage hitter, Montes has 40 home run upside, but swing and miss concerns and a high DH likelihood make him a risky prospect.

Offense

A gargantuan human, Montes towers at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, easily producing elite exit velocities as a teenager. Starting with a wide stance, Montes utilizes a big leg kick that he controls well. For such a big frame, Montes repeats his moves well and is under control.

Already boasting elite exit velocities, Montes posted the highest 90th percentile exit velocity of any player under 19 years old in 2023 with a max of 118.4 MPH. There’s naturally some length to his swing which can result in swing and miss and his ability to recognize spin is a work in progress, but an overall good feel for the strike zone and enough quickness to hit velocity hedge some of the hit tool concerns. He ran a chase rate around 23% in 2023 leading to a 17% walk rate, though he will need to make more consistent contact to tap into his offensive ceiling.

Defense/Speed

Montes does not move very well and with the likelihood of slowing down further, he is likely to move to first base or DH.

Outlook

With next to no value beyond his bat, it’s going to be important for Montes to hit enough to tap into his double plus power. Maintaining his ability to draw walks as he climbs levels will be key for the slugger as well. If it all comes together, Montes could become one of the most dangerous power hitters in baseball, but he still has a ways to go.

55. Addison Barger – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 200 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 6th Round (176), 2018 (TOR) | ETA: 2024

HITRAW POWERGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5055/5550/5545/4545/4555

Drafted as a shortstop, Barger saw much more action at third base and right field in Triple-A. While that puts more pressure on his bat, he has enough pop to carry a 3B/RF profile with improving swing decisions.

Offense

Starting upright with his hands high and just over his head, Barger pulls his hands back in tandem with a big leg kick with his knee getting up to his waist. He really swings for damage, getting his most violent swing off often, but possesses a better feel to hit than expected with such loud moves and a violent swing.

Barger controls his body well, demonstrating plenty of barrel accuracy, really breaking through in that department in his big 2022 campaign. His overall contact rate of 75% and zone contact rate of 85% in 2023 were both the highest marks of his career. Despite his exit velocities jumping multiple ticks, a flatter swing path hampered his game power. Barger saw his average launch angle on hard hit balls cut in half from 2022 to 2023, explaining the more than 100 point drop in slugging percentage between the two seasons.

With the improvements bat to ball wise, There’s comfortably above average power in the tank.

An aggressive hitter through most of his professional career, Barger cut his chase rate under 30% for the first time, resulting in his highest walk rate at any stop (13%). There’s potential for average hit and above average power from the left side, complemented by an improving approach.

Defense/Speed

Limited range has resulted in Barger seeing less action at shortstop in favor of third base and right field where his double plus arm plays well. Despite seeing his first action in the outfield of his professional career in 2023, Barger looked relatively comfortable, taking pretty good routes and covering enough ground. His arm was an asset immediately, providing highlight-worthy outfield assists.

He has the goods to be an average defender at the hot corner if he can clean his actions up some. There’s a tendency to sit back on balls, resulting in tough hops that can eat him up. He is accurate with his big arm, rarely making a throwing error. An average runner, Barger is not much of a factor on the base paths but is not a negative either.

Outlook

On the surface, 2023 was a bit of a let down after slashing .308/.378/.555 across three levels the season prior, but the underlying batted ball data and relative comfort in right field was encouraging. His steady splits and added defensive versatility increase his likelihood of becoming a regular, as does his improved swing decisions. Above average offense and the ability to play multiple spots could make Barger an above average regular.

56. Leodalis De Vries – SS – San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $4.2M, 2023 (SDP) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate DiscGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/5550/6035/5555/5540/5555

The youngest player on our top 100 list, the excitement around De Vries is predicated on the dynamic skill set he already boasts at 17 years old paired with a ton of projection.

Offense

Starting open with the bat rested on his shoulder, De Vries uses a rhythmic hand load in tandem with a gathering leg kick. While he repeats his moves relatively well, the loud hand movement in his load can disrupt his timing some.

A sweet left-handed stroke with loft, his swing is extremely advanced for a teenager, let alone a hitter who his in his age 17 season. He has already demonstrated the ability to drive the ball with carry to all fields, controlling his body and weight well.

Already showcasing a strong feel for the strike zone, De Vries rarely expands on fastballs and recognizes spin impressively considering his age and level. There’s above average power potential as he fills out physically and learns how to get the most out of his frame. At least above average hit and power with strong plate discipline give De Vries the potential to be an offensive monster.

Defense/Speed

De Vries is a twitchy athlete who could develop into a solid defender at shortstop, but could also slow down a bit as he matures. He’s currently an above average runner with good range and a strong arm. He can get a little stabby to the backhand, but the glove actions are solid. As long as De Vries maintains his agility, he has a good chance to stick at shortstop.

Outlook

It’s difficult to project lower level hitters as is and considering the fact that De Vries will not be a legal adult until the end of the 2024 season, there is plenty of speculation baked into any assessment of the $4 million international free agent. Aggressively throwing their most talented teenagers into the deep end seems to be the way the Padres like to go about things, making it important to take De Vries’ statistical output in 2024 with a grain of salt. He has already flashed enough ability and upside to dream on an All Star shortstop.

57. Aidan Miller – SS – Philadelphia Phillies

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (17), 2023 (PHI) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate DiscGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/5050/6050/6050/5040/5055

Plus power and good on base skills make Miller an exciting offensive piece.

Offense

Previously featuring a significant barrel tip/hitch that he could overcome thanks to his plus bat speed, Miller made things easier on himself heading into his first full pro season, starting his hands up higher and quieting his pre-swing moves. He also found a better feel for his base, narrowing his stance with more of his weight stacked towards his back side.

Simpler moves and a stronger base have helped Miller make more consistent contact and produce impressive impact. As he has tapped into plus exit velocities, Miller’s more efficient bat path has made it easier for him to do damage to the pull side in particular, something he struggled with as an amateur and in his first stint as a pro.

Miller’s strike zone awareness is well above average, recognizing spin more consistently than his peers and leveraging his advantage counts effectively. While lower level walk rates should be taken with a grain of salt, Miller should sustain his strong walk rates as he climbs levels.

Defense/Speed

Miller has exclusively seen action at shortstop as a pro and while he may profile best at the hot corner, he has looked passable up the middle with average range and a plus arm. The glove actions are not always the smoothest, but he’s pretty sure-handed. If he loses any range as he matures, that should make the move to third almost a guarantee, where he’d project as above average defensively. An average runner, Miller is not afraid to pick his spots to run and should mix in double digit stolen bases annually.

Outlook

It’s easy to like Aidan Miller’s offensive profile. He is a young hitter with standout bat speed, an advanced approach and has already demonstrated the ability to make positive swing adjustments. Even if he moves off of shortstop, there’s enough impact and defensive ability for him to be an above average regular at the hot corner.

58. Tink Hence – RHP – St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (63), 2020 (STL) | ETA: 2026

FASTBALLCURVEBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
55/6040/4555/6050/5540/5055

An electric athlete with elite arm speed, Hence overpowered Low-A hitters in 2022 before hitting a bit of a wall at Double-A in 2023. Some minor injuries likely contributed to him stalling out, but there were some challenges to repeat his delivery and far too many non-competitive pitches that raised some concern at points.

Arsenal

Hence’s stuff can be extremely tough for hitters when he is on, but he rarely had his multiple secondaries working for him in the same start during the 2023 season. He dominated Low-A hitters in shorter spurts during the 2022 season, throwing his fastball nearly 70% of the time and just blowing it by inexperienced hitters.

With a focus on minimizing his fastball reliance at more challenging levels, Hence cut his fastball usage to around 55% in 2023. The challenge for Hence was that he could not find a consistent feel for his secondaries, specifically his changeup, which he landed for a strike less than 50% of the time.

The step back with his secondaries could have been due to some of the nagging ailments he was reportedly dealing with, but seeing the secondary command back up when the usage increased was less than ideal.

The good news is, Hence was stretched out more in 2023 and maintained the same average fastball velocity. After not exceeding 60 pitches in 2022, Hence eclipsed that total in 17 of his outings while maintaining an average fastball velocity of 95.8 mph.

Hence can be a bit jerky with his mechanics, with his body getting ahead of his arm. The lag can create arm side misses and less jump out of his hand. When everything is in sync, Hence can buzz his fastball by hitters running his fastball up to the upper 90s from a 5.3 foot release height.

Though it was his most inconsistent pitch last season, Hence’s changeup has a chance to stand out among all of his secondaries, flashing plus in the low 80s. Hitters really struggle to pick it up from his over-the-top release with 17 inches of horizontal movement.

The third potentially above average pitch for Hence is a cutterish slider in the mid 80s. It is an effective weapon for him against right-handed hitters, but can also be used to bore in on lefties when he has a good feel for it.

Rounding out the arsenal is a slurvy breaking ball that Hence can mix in. It’s likely not much more than a taste-breaker.

Outlook

A premium athlete on the mound, it is really fun to watch Hence pitch when he is on. The inconsistency from a delivery and results standpoint in 2023 was somewhat concerning, though it was his age 20 season and his first year truly handling a starter’s workload.

Hence has the stuff and athleticism to be a big league No. 3 starter. In order to get there he will need to clean up his delivery and find more consistency with his secondaries. 2024 will be a pivotal year when identifying what kind of track Hence is on as he presumably gets his second taste of Double-A.

59. Jonny Farmelo – OF – Seattle Mariners

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (29), 2023 (SEA) | ETA: 2026

HITPLATE DISC.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
45/5550/5540/5570/7045/5555

Tools galore with a feel to hit that may be better than anticipated, Farmelo has a chance to be a dynamic centerfielder.

Offense

Starting slightly crouched with his barrel flat, Farmelo gathers into his back side with a sizable leg kick. He sometimes looks rushed with the big move, but cuts down the height of his stride with two strikes or when pitchers are quicker to the plate. It’s also a rather new move for him, using a toe tap in his load as an amateur.

Farmelo’s swing path is geared for lift, but he has showed an improved feel for the barrel and some adjustability that he appeared to lack at points as an amateur, providing optimism for an above average hit tool. There’s above average juice to dream on as Farmelo continues to grow into his frame and gains more comfort swinging for damage in the box.

Farmelo is a patient hitter, already showing a good feel for the strike zone. The improved feel to hit takes some pressure off of the need to slug, but there’s potential for average hit and above average power buoyed by strong plate discipline.

Defense/Speed

An absolute burner, Farmelo turns in double plus run times and has already translated that speed into impact on the base paths and in centerfield. With an average arm and his elite athleticism, he has the ingredients to be a well above average defender up the middle and a high-volume base stealer.

Outlook

Already an exciting prospect based on sheer tools, strides in the contact department in the early going of his professional career only adds to the intrigue. There’s potential for a dynamic everyday centerfielder who can pack a bit of a punch and get on base at a good clip.

60. Chase Dollander – RHP – Colorado Rockies

 Height/Weight: 6’2″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (9), 2023 (COL) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCURVEBALLCOMMANDFV
60/7050/6045/5540/5050/5555

One of the more electric arms college baseball has seen in several years, Dollander’s disappointing junior season was still not enough to push him outside of the top 10 picks in this past year’s draft.

Arsenal

An overpowering pitcher who is a data darling, Dollander runs out a four pitch mix with the potential for three plus offerings. His double-plus fastball sits 95-97 MPH, touching 99 MPH with exploding life at the top of the zone. Averaging around 16 inches of induced vertical break with late arm side run from a release height of 5.5 feet, Dollander’s fastball is extremely difficult for hitters to get on top of while also frequently freezing them at the knees.

Working off of his fastball is a cutter-ish slider in the 86-88 MPH range. It played more like a slider in 2022, featuring more horizontal break and less vertical break in the mid 80s. With more sweep and separation in velocity from his fastball, it picked up more whiff and chase, while his shorter and harder cutter was barreled more frequently with less margin for error if he missed his spot.

The step backwards with his slider could have been due to the delivery inconsistencies he struggled with during his relatively frustrating 2023 season, but if he can regain shape closer to what we saw in 2022, it’s an easy plus pitch. He landed his slider for a strike nearly 70% of the time in 2022 compared to a 60% strike rate in his final collegiate season.

Dollander told Just Baseball that he spent the offseason cleaning up some issues that crept into his delivery which have him feeling confident with both his command and the quality of his stuff.

Dollander’s third pitch is an upper 80s changeup with some decent arm side fade. He could probably benefit from killing more spin, as the pitch averaged around 2,000 RPM in his sophomore season compared to 2,200 RPM last season. He still landed it for a strike at a strong 67% mark, but it did not feature the same string pull that it had in the past.

Even with less movement, Dollander can rack up plenty of chase swings as hitters gear up for his lively fastball from the aforementioned low release point. If he can kill the spin back to the 2022 levels, it could be a plus offering.

Rounding out the arsenal is an upper 70s curveball that he will mix in a handful of times per start. Likely due to his inconsistent delivery, the shape of the pitch was inconsistent. At times, it would feature more downward break while other instances it would look more like a slurve. Dollander said that he worked on the pitch during the offseason to make sure it does not blend with the slider and feels good about where the pitch is at heading into 2024.

Outlook

With such a great pitcher’s build and a smooth, athletic delivery, Dollander could have put himself right alongside Paul Skenes as the top arm in the draft. He was still easily one of the best pitchers in his class, despite his ERA doubling to 4.75 in his draft year, because of the immense upside he has already displayed.

There’s some discrepancies in his mechanics from 2022 to 2023 and with a relatively small tweak, Dollander could quickly solidify himself as one of the best pitching prospects in the game thanks to his lively stuff and tough release point for hitters. Pitching prospects have not fared well for the Rockies in recent years for a myriad of reasons, but none of them were as talented as Dollander, who has frontline upside.

61. Tyler Black – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (33) – 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/5560/6040/5055/5530/3555

A bat-first prospect, the Brewers have tried to find a defensive home for the former first rounder to little avail, but his impressive ability at the plate continues to carry him.

Offense

Black utilizes a big leg kick to get into his lower half, but similar to Zach Neto, it is something that he has done for so long that it does not disrupt his timing. He walked nearly twice as much as he struck out in his collegiate career at Wright State, and struck out just 15.5% of the time in High-A during his first full pro season in 2022.

After missing time with an injury last season, Black returned looking stronger, and the results could be seen in the batted ball data. Black has seen his 90th percentile exit velocity jump by 4 MPH while upping his home run total of four in 2022 (64 games) to 18 in 2023 (123 games).

With the added power has come a bit more whiff for Black, but the feel for the barrel that scouts fell in love with ahead of the 2021 MLB Draft is still there. Running a chase rate of just 18%, he is also an extremely patient hitter who will draw plenty of walks.

While the Brewers Double-A affiliate in Biloxi is a hitter-friendly park, the big jump in exit velocity is encouraging for Black’s power outlook, and he has also slashed his ground ball rate by 11% in 2023. Black’s power flashes above average to his pull side and he leverages his hitter’s counts well to pick his spots to try to do damage.

Defense/Speed

A sneaky plus runner, Black has really blossomed as a base stealer, becoming a consistent threat to run. After stealing 13 bases in 64 High-A games in 2022, Black stole 47 bases in 84 Double-A games during the 2023 season. 

That athleticism has not quite translated into the field, where Black is still trying to find his defensive home. He mostly played second base in his first pro season before getting some run in center field, where he unfortunately fractured his scapula laying out for a fly ball.

The Brewers now have Black playing third base. His actions have improved some since he was drafted, but his arm is fringy at best. Though it helps that he has some familiarity with multiple spots, Black will likely grade out as a below average defender wherever the Brewers stick him and could wind up spending some time at first base.

Outlook

Black’s jump in power paired with a good feel for the barrel and great approach give him a strong offensive profile. His ability on the base paths helps provides some value beyond the bat, but the lack of defensive home is somewhat limiting. With his plus speed, it is worth wondering if he could get by in left, even with a weaker arm. 

The solid blend of above average hit and improved power should make Black a big league bat with enough offensive upside to be an above average regular despite his defensive shortcomings.

62. Felnin Celesten – SS – Seattle Mariners

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 180 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $4.7M – 2023 (SEA) | ETA: 2027

HITPLATE DISC.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
35/5045/5540/5560/6045/6055

Extremely toolsy and projectable, Celesten earned the second biggest pay day out of the 2023 IFA class. His pro debut was delayed until 2024 due to a hamstring injury last season.

Offense

A switch hitter with an athletic swing form both sides of the plate, Celesten features a big leg kick that he starts early and controls well. His right-handed swing is a bit ahead of his left-handed swing, controlling his lower half more effectively with a more efficient path. It’s not uncommon for right-side dominant switch-hitters to fight some swing path and drift issues from the left side and Celesten already boasts impressive bat speed from both sides. Cleaning up his path some should help him mitigate his higher ground ball rates.

Already whippy with impressive impact for his age, Celesten is wiry with room for more strength. There’s at least above average power projection as he fills out and utilizes the ground more effectively. Admittedly, plate discipline is difficult to put a grade on at this point considering how little Celesten has played at this point. Even limited looks at the prized free agent make it easy to understand why he commanded so much attention as his offensive tools are tantalizing.

Defense/Speed

Quick and twitchy, Celesten moves his feet well at shortstop with impressive range. His glove work is impressively advanced, comfortable picking to his backhand or crashing in to his forehand with smooth actions while getting the ball out quick. He possesses a well above average to potentially plus arm as well. It’s easy to envision plus defensive potential with Celesten. A plus runner, Celesten takes galloping strides that chew up plenty of ground quickly. He should be a factor on the base paths.

Outlook

Limited looks make Celesten as speculative of a write up as you’re going to find at this point, but his skill set and upside is uncommon. After the hamstring strain wiped out his chance to play in the Dominican Summer League last season, Celesten will leap straight to the Complex League to make his pro debut in what will still be his age 18 season. Acknowledging that plenty has to go right, Celesten could be a switch-hitting five tool shortstop with as much potential as just about any prospect at the complex.

63. Thomas Saggese – 2B – St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 5th Round (145), 2020 (TEX) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
60/6040/4050/5050/5045/4555

A good feel to hit with the ability to drive the ball in the air consistently, Saggese has hit at every stop despite nothing quite jumping off of the page from a tools perspective.

Offense

Starting upright, Saggese gets into a big leg kick and rhythmic hand load, but has little trouble timing things up. He has quick hands and a great feel for the barrel, helping him get to pitches in different locations and turn around velocity.

He is a somewhat aggressive hitter, running a 32% chase rate on the season, but he hedges that with above average contact rates that continued to improve as the season progressed. Over his final 75 games of the season, Saggese posted a contact rate of 76% and in-zone contact rate of 86%.

His 90th percentile exit velocity of 103 MPH is a tick above average, but Saggese was able to launch 26 home runs during his 2023 campaign in large part to his ability to drive the ball in the air consistently (37% ground ball rate) in a hitter-friendly Texas League.

That said, Saggese undoubtedly tapped into more raw power in 2023, seeing his 90th percentile exit velocity and average exit velocity jump by a tick as well as setting a new max. 

Aside from his approach being expansive at times, Saggese is a difficult hitter to get out because he hits all pitch types well. He crushed both fastballs and non-fastballs to an OPS over .900 during the 2023 season.

There’s potential for a fringe-plus hit and at least average power for Saggese, but he has the characteristics of a hitter who will always outperform his peripherals, especially with the chase rate dwindling. 

Defense/Speed

Average range and an average arm allow Saggese to play a passable third base and second base, but sometimes struggles to make throws from different angles. He has good hands and decent actions, projecting as an average defender at second base who can play on the left side of the infield in a pinch.

An average runner, Saggese is an opportunistic base stealer who is efficient when he decides to take off. After stealing 12 bags on 15 tries in 2022, he swiped 12 on 14 tries in 2023.

Outlook

Even without a plus tool, Saggese has a balanced game across the board with plenty of offensive upside. His plus makeup and feel for the game have played a big part in his ability to climb through the minor leagues quickly, reaching Triple-A at just 21 years old. Saggese could develop into an offensive-minded infielder who can plug in at multiple spots.

64. Orelvis Martinez – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $3.5M – 2018 (TOR) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4540/4055/6045/4540/4555

There have never been any doubts about Martinez’s power, but an improved approach and contact rates have him fending off the prospect fatigue

Offense

Though still quite noisy in the box, Martinez has made some adjustments to improve his consistency contact wise and use the whole field a bit more. He starts more stacked on his back side with more of a pronounced coil in his load that has helped him stay on the baseball longer. Though he still likes to pull, Martinez previously sold out for pull side power, often stepping in the bucket and spinning off of spin or soft stuff away.

After posting an OPS under .600 against breaking balls in 2022, Martinez is up over .800 against such pitches in 2023. His improved body control has also helped him put up bigger exit velocities, seeing a two-tick jump in his 90th percentile exit velocity at 106 MPH.

With two strikes, Martinez spreads out and eliminates his stride, relying on a coil for his load and letting his natural bat speed do the work. He boasts a zone contact rate of 88% with two strikes, showcasing just how well his hands work when his body does not take him out of his swing.

On top of his swing improvements, Martinez has cut his chase rate by around 5% in 2023, walking at the highest clip of his professional career. Changeups have specifically been an an Achilles’ heel for Martinez, but with drastic improvements against breaking balls and his overall approach, there’s a ton to be excited about with the direction of the Blue Jays prospect.

Defense/Speed

A fringy defender no matter where you stick him on the left side of the infield, Martinez best profiles at third base. His plus arm is a big help, but his actions are shaky. He has the tools to develop into an average defender at third base if he can clean up his footwork and glove work some. Martinez is an average runner at best.

Outlook

Martinez launched 30 home runs in 118 games at the Double-A level in 2022, but his frustrating approach and whiff concerns weighed down his prospect stock. One of the top talents in the 2018 IFA class, it feels like he has been around forever, but with 2020’s COVID cancelled season, Martinez’s age-21 season in 2023 was just his third full season.

Tangible adjustments in the box have improved contact rates, drastically improved walk rates and created a more appealing spray chart, as Martinez is starting to provide some optimism that he can hit enough to reach his 30 home run potential.

65. Jace Jung – 2B – Detroit Tigers

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (12), 2022 (DET) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4550/5055/6040/4040/4555

The younger brother of Josh Jung, Jace also provides a lot to be excited about offensively with good power from the left side and a knack for getting on base.

Offense

A unique setup, Jung starts with his bat angled diagonally and wrist cocked. His grip of the bat is reminiscent to a golf grip and his back knee starts angled towards the catcher. While setup is unorthodox, it puts him close to his desired launch position, featuring minimal pre-swing movement.

Jung hardly moves his hands from where he sets up, other than a small rhythmic move. The bat-angle he creates in his setup allows him to snap the barrel behind him with the barrel entering the zone early and staying through it for a long time.

The angle Jung creates helps him drive the ball in the air consistently, translating every bit of his above average raw power into above average game power. His 90th percentile exit velocity of 104.5 mph is comfortably above average, but his low ground ball rate of 36% was a large reason why he was able to run into 28 homers in 2023.

With a 78% zone contact rate, there is some whiff with Jung, but he hedges that with a good approach and ability to draw walks, picking up free passes at a 14% clip as a pro.

Defense/Speed

A below average runner, Jung lacks the range desired to be a strong defender in the infield, but does have an above average arm and good hands. His instincts and overall feel for the game compensate for his limitations, providing enough reason to believe that he can be a passable defender at second base or third base. He predominantly played second base during the regular season, but has seen more action at the hot corner in the Arizona Fall League.

Outlook

It’s an offensive-driven profile with Jung, but 28 homers and a .376 on base percentage in his first full professional season is more than enough to carry any bat-first prospect. With his ability to drive the ball in the air consistently and solid exit velocities, it’s easy to see Jung continue to produce above average game power at least.

The questions will be whether he can keep the whiff in check at the upper levels, and where his defensive home will ultimately be.

66. Edgar Quero – C – Chicago White Sox

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 170 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $200K – 2021 (LAA) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/5560/6030/4040/4035/4555

A bat-first catching prospect with advanced approach and good feel to hit from both sides of the plate, Quero earned an aggressive assignment to Double-A and handled it well after tearing through High-A in 2022.

Offense

Quero broke out in a big way last year in his first full pro season (2022), proving to be much more polished at the plate than most of his competition. A short, quick swing geared for line drives from both sides of the plate, Quero’s compact levers help him make a ton of contact and turn around velocity.

His quiet and simple pre-swing moves from both sides of the plate help him consistently make contact. Quero boasts an overall contact rate of 81% and in zone zone contact rate of 87%. Paired with his great bat to ball skills is plus plate discipline, rarely expanding the zone and walking as much as he has struck out as a pro.

After leaving a hitter-friendly California League (Low-A), Quero saw his power output take a hit in the Southern League (Double-A). Quero’s flat swing results in far more line drives and ground balls than fly balls, limiting his game power. His average hard hit launch angle has sat below 10 degrees as a pro.

A tough hitter to punch out, Quero uses a toe tap when he is down to his last strike and battles. Between his patient approach and ability to spoil pitches when behind, Quero is able to get on base at a solid clip even when he isn’t swinging the hottest bat.

As he continues to get more at-bats under this belt, Quero has a chance to develop into a well above average hitter and an OBP machine. Though he may not tap into too much more power, he has 10-15 home run potential with plenty of gap to gap power.

Defense/Speed

A good athlete who moves well behind the dish, Quero is already a good blocker, but is a work in progress in the receiving department. He is relatively raw overall as a catcher, but has made improvements through his experience as the youngest catcher at the Double-A level in 2023.

Quero has at least an average arm and is accurate with his throws, but he can be a bit slow to get the ball out at times. He has cut down nearly 30% of base stealers as a pro.

Outlook

Even with minimal power output, it’s hard to argue against Quero’s feel to hit from both sides of the plate and knack for getting on base. As his defense improves, Quero has the looks of a safe catching prospect who should reach the big leagues relatively quickly.

Acquired by the White Sox at the 2023 trade deadline, Quero looks like the team’s longterm option behind the dish with a skillset that should give him a strong chance to be an above average regular. There are some similarities to Keibert Ruiz.

67. Thayron Liranzo – C – Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 190 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $30K , 2021 (LAD) | ETA: 2026

HITPlate DiscGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
30/4050/5550/6030/3040/5055

A switch-hitter with plus raw power Liranzo already looks like one of the biggest steals in the 2021 IFA class for just $30k.

Offense

On the left side, Liranzo starts open with his hands high, featuring a big leg kick that he controls well. From the right side, his feet are even to start and he sinks into his backside before a much smaller stride. Inconsistencies from the right side have resulted in Liranzo tinkering with different pre-swing mechanisms, something he has not needed to do from the left side. The right-handed swing has come a long way and looks much more natural after his latest adjustments.

Liranzo has boasted plus exit velocities since he was a teenager, launching tape-measure shots upwards of 450 feet and 114 mph. His path can flatten out some, but he compensates for that with his high-end exit velocities and ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority.

Approach wise, Liranzo seems to get better each time you check in, especially from the left-side of the plate. Improved pitch recoginition and plate discipline has helped hedge his struggles with secondary stuff, but he will need to improve his ability to hit sliders in particular as he climbs levels.

The hit tool may ultimately be fringy, but there’s plus game power to dream on as he learns to elevate with a bit more consistency with an above average ability to draw free passes.

Defense/Speed

A solid receiver and blocker, Liranzo is athletic behind the dish and moves well. While his arm is above average, his catch and throw skills need some work, struggling to get the ball out of his glove smoothly at times and throwing flat footed. His mobility and receiving skills give him a good chance to stick at the position.

Outlook

Liranzo provides a tantalizing profile as a switch-hitting catcher with plus power and good shot at sticking behind the dish. Projecting as a fringy hitter at best, his swing decisions and ability to tap into his impact in games will be important. Considering the positive trend and helpful adjustments we have seen from the right-handed swing alone, there’s good reason to believe that he can continue to mitigate the whiff enough.

68. Drew Gilbert – OF – New York Mets

Height/Weight: 5’9″, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (28), 2022 (HOU) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5555/5540/5060/6050/5555

Above average tools across the board and a fiery competitor, Gilbert has the makings of a really balanced, yet productive ballplayer.

Offense

Gilbert starts with a slightly wide stance and his weight shifted on his back side before using a toe tap for timing. He has above average bat speed paired with a knack for barreling baseballs. Despite his smaller frame, Gilbert uses his lower half well to produce average power with flashes of above average pop to his pull side and consistently elevates.

The athleticism is evident in the box for Gilbert showcasing plenty of adjustability both with the barrel and his body. The exit velocities are slightly above average, but there might be a bit more impact in the tank as Gilbert gets his best swings off more consistently.

He was challenged with a quick bump to Double-A where he started a tad slow before gaining his footing and mashing to an OPS right around 1.000 over his final 30 games of the season. Gilbert blends average contact rates with a patient approach.

Defense/Speed

A borderline-plus runner, Gilbert’s speed is better used in the outfield than on the base paths. He covers ground quickly in center with efficient routes and good reads. With a plus arm as well, Gilbert should not only stick in centerfield, but be an above average defender there.

His speed has not quite made its way to the base paths in the form of stolen bases yet, but Gilbert is still valuable when on base.

Outlook

Traded to the Mets at the 2023 Deadline for Justin Verlander, Gilbert instantly became the team’s best outfield prospect. It’s difficult to poke a hole in Gilbert’s game with above average tools everywhere you look and a motor that teams love. He is a high probability big leaguer with a great chance of sticking in centerfield.

69. Ralphy Velazquez – 1B – Cleveland Guardians

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 235 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (23), 2023 (CLE) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/5040/5055/6530/3035/5055

A big left-handed slugger, Velazquez has already made the move to first base from catcher where he has looked like one of the more impressive young hitters at the lower levels.

Offense

Starting crouched with a wide base and the bat rested on his shoulder, Velazquez features a simple load, coiling inwards as he pulls his hands backwards to his slot. The stretch and his powerful lower half help him create plenty of torque, already boasting plus power to the pull side.

Being so rotational can sometimes take Velazquez off of pitches on the outer third, but it appears to be more of a matter of an aggressive intention to pull something hard in the air rather than an inability to stay on such pitches. Considering he was just 18 years old at the start of the 2024 season and is already powerful enough to pull stuff on the outer half over the right field wall, it’s not going to be as important for Velazquez to have an “all fields” approach as others, especially when seeing a high number of fastballs at the lower levels.

He already uses the ground impressively to generate force, with a path that creates plenty of loft and a decent feel for the barrel. Velazquez can get a bit aggressive, especially with heaters, but he has demonstrated the ability to recognize spin and should grow into at least average plate discipline. There’s enough power for 30+ homers.

Defense/Speed

Initially drafted as a catcher, the Guardians opted to move Velazquez to first base and allow him to focus on his development with the bat. He moves his feet well for his size and should grow into an average defender at the position.

Outlook

Already flashing big time impact and a solid feel to hit, Velazquez has the potential to be a middle of the order masher. The move to first base puts more pressure on his bat, but early returns indicate that should not be much of an issue.

70. Thomas White – LHP – Miami Marlins

Height/Weight: 6’5, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round-A (35), 2023 (MIA) | ETA: 2026

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/6050/5560/6040/5055

The top southpaw in the 2023 class, White already has an impressive feel for a strong three pitch mix. He’s a candidate to climb quickly.

Arsenal

Towering at a lanky 6-foot-5, White already has a good feel for his body and mechanics, a rarity for pitchers of his profile. The one thing that can throw off his command a bit at times is his long arm action, but his arm path also plays into the deception he creates, hiding the ball behind him before working down on the mound. The result is a fastball that can spring onto hitters more quickly than others at the same velocity despite just average extension.

His fastball sits in the mid 90s, touching 98 mph and flashing decent carry. While that is already plenty of velocity, his projectable frame and relatively low-effort delivery make him a candidate to see an uptick as he matures. Regardless, it’s already a plus heater.

Both White’s curveball and changeup are already above average with the latter looking like a plus pitch in the early stages of his pro career. The sweeping curveball sits in the low 80s with two plane break and roughly 14 inches of horizontal break. It is a big whiff pitch left on left but he has the tendency to leave it up at times, especially to righties. That said, it is still a great third option to opposite-handed hitters, especially when he buries it towards their back leg.

White’s preferred weapon to righties is his mid 80s changeup, which mirrors his fastball well thanks to his ability to maintain his arm speed and unique arm action. Averaging around 15 inches of horizontal movement, the plus pitch fades under barrels.

Outlook

Though he was the 35th overall selection in the 2023 draft, his $4.1 million signing bonus was top 20 pick value and good for the fourth highest payday among arms in the class trailing only: Paul Skenes, Rhett Lowder, Chase Dollander and his teammate Noble Meyer.

Already flashing three above average or better offerings as a teenage southpaw, White pitched his way out of Low-A Jupiter after just eight impressive starts to begin the 2024 season. While there’s probably a little more to dream on stuff wise, it’s pretty easy to envision a potential middle-rotation arm, assuming White’s command continues to progress nicely.

71. Starlyn Caba – SS – Philadelphia Phillies

Height/Weight: 5’9″, 170 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $3M, 2023 (PHI) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6550/6030/3560/6050/6055

A slick fielding shortstop, Caba is a switch-hitter who is far more advanced at the plate than his peers.

Offense

A switch hitter with a quiet operation from both sides, Caba is a contact-oriented hitter with a quick and compact stroke. Between his efficiency and feel for the barrel, Caba has posted some of the better contact rates at the complex. Like many shorter-levered contact hitters, Caba’s swing path is a bit flatter, resulting in more ground balls. He has already flashed more gap to gap impact in 2024, driving fastballs in the air more consistently than he did in the Dominican Summer League.

Caba’s knowledge of the strike zone is also advanced for his age, running one of the lowest chase rates in both the DSL and Complex Leagues and helping him walk twice as much as he has struck out as a pro.

While there’s room within Caba’s modest frame for some more strength, he’ll likely be a below average power source. There’s potential for plus hit and plate discipline that would make him an ideal top of the order bat.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner with great footwork at short, Caba is a rangy shortstop with an above average arm and mature instincts. He attacks the ball with confidence, demonstrating the ability to make difficult throws on the run from different angles. He should be an above average stolen base threat.

Outlook

One of the more advanced players you’ll find below full season ball, Caba has the ingredients to climb through the Minor Leagues quickly. He compensates for his lack of power projection by providing value in just about every other facet of the game. Between his likelihood of sticking at shortstop and contact/on base skills, Caba’s floor is higher than most other teenage prospects while still offering enough upside to dream on an above average everyday shortstop.

72. Enrique Bradfield Jr. – OF – Baltimore Orioles

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 170 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (17), 2023 (BAL) | ETA: 2025

HITRAW POWERGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
55/6030/3520/3080/8070/7055

Elite wheels and defense with minimal slug, Bradfield is a throwback center fielder with the tools turned up.

Offense

Starting upright with his hands right by his ear and his bat pointed upwards like a lightening rod, Bradfield sinks into his lower half with a small leg kick and small pull backwards with his hands. The moves are simple with Bradfield choked up some on the bat and a flat swing geared for contact. Though simple, his load can look a bit rushed sometimes with the tendency to start it late.

A projected top 10 pick by many going into 2023, Bradfield’s great contact ability and elite speed made his .279 batting average in his draft year at Vanderbilt a disappointment, but that did not deter the Orioles from selecting him 17th overall. Extremely patient, Bradfield ran a chase rate of just 12% during his college season with that number dipping further in his 25 pro games.

With low-end exit velocities and a swing path that results in a higher ground ball rate, Bradfield is unlikely to slug his way out of the .300’s. His high contact rates and ability to draw plenty of walks should help him post a high on base percentage. 

Even with speed that should help him steal plenty of infield hits, a key component to Bradfield’s ability to hit for a higher average will be if he can keep the ground ball rate within reason as well as his quality of contact.

He has a bit bigger of a frame than most hitters of his profile and could likely add some strength without impeding his quickness. Even a marginal gain in impact could bode well for his BABIP. 

Defense/Speed

80 grade wheels and the instincts of a veteran center fielder, Bradfield is one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball at any level. He seems to always know where he is on the field, finding the wall consistently with comfort even at full speed. He will take his eyes off of the ball to sprint to a spot and pick the ball back up in stride when it’s hit straight over his head or if he has to make an adjustment. His arm is fringy, but accurate. 

Stealing 130 bags in less than 200 collegiate games, it was more of the same for Bradfield in his pro debut, going 25 for 27 on attempts in just 25 games.

Outlook

The ceiling is relatively capped for Bradfield compared to most first round picks, but he would provide value for a big league team with his glove and legs right now. Though it will be an uphill battle for Bradfield to provide above average offensive production, his minuscule chase rate and ability to put bat on ball elevate his offensive floor some.

If Bradfield’s offensive numbers are within a reasonable distance of league-average, he will offer enough in other areas to be an everyday center fielder for a winning team.

73. Luisangel Acuña – SS – New York Mets

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $425K – 2018 (TEX) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5540/4035/4560/6055/6055

Traded to the Mets for Max Scherzer at this year’s Trade Deadline, Luisangel Acuña may not possess the superstar potential of his brother Ronald, but he is advanced for his age with intriguing tools on both sides of the ball.

Offense

A nearly identical setup to his brother, Acuña lacks the lower half coantrol and explosiveness of Ronald but still boasts a quick bat/hands and plenty of athleticism. He has looked much more under control with his base in 2023, and the results have been evident in his 5% jump in contact rate along with a 5% cut in his ground ball rate.

Previously a bit of a drifter, Acuña’s focus on keeping his weight back have helped him make massive gains against velocity. He registered just a .599 OPS against fastballs 94+ MPH last season, but has upped that figure to .763 in 2023.

Acuña’s hands are quick and adjustable and he uses the entire field well. Though he is somewhat of an aggressive hitter, Acuña still draws a decent amount of walks and has kept his strikeout rate in check at Double-A.

If Acuña fills out a bit more and continues to improve with his ability to sync his upper and lower half, there is 20 homer upside with the ability to spray the ball all over the field. 

Defense/Speed

An above-average runner with great footwork, Acuña already looks like a strong defender at short. His actions are smooth and his arm grades as plus, providing plenty of optimism that he can develop into a plus defender at shortstop. A menace on the base paths, Acuña swiped 57 bases on 67 attempts in 2023.

Outlook

Acuña still has some developing to do at the plate, but his athleticism, advanced glove and above average production as a 21-year-old in Double-A helped solidify Acuña’s status as one of the better prospects in the Rangers system and a key piece for the Mets to target in the return for Max Scherzer.

While Acuña may lack the offensive impact to be an All Star, he provides a high floor with his bat to ball skills, defensive value and stolen base ability.

74. Termarr Johnson – 2B – Pittsburgh Pirates

Height/Weight: 5’8″, 175 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (4), 2021 (PIT) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
30/4055/6050/6050/5040/5055

Viewed as one of the best pure prep hitters in years, Johnson has the looks of a power-over-hit prospect in the early going, but the power is plentiful.

Offense

Johnson starts with his bat resting on his shoulder and his weight favoring his backside before getting into a big leg kick that coincides with a barrel tip. Generally, these loud moves would be of concern in regards to disrupting timing and consistency, but Johnson is quick and compact with explosive bat speed.

Despite his smaller stature, Johnson generates a ridiculous amount of rotational power and bat speed, already posting plus exit velocities with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 105 MPH and max of 112 MPH.

Like many young hitters, Johnson tends to try to get into his pull side power a bit too much, causing him to be out and around the baseball. Good secondary stuff in pro ball has also caused Johnson to drift onto his front foot as well. That said, he is patient in the box, running a chase rate right around 17%

Johnson is a really fun hitter to watch when he’s on time. Pitchers will fear going inside on him because of the way he is able to turn around stuff on the inner half with authority. When Johnson is at his best, he is able to shoot balls the other way with authority as well, but he will need to find some more consistency with his lower half.

It will remain to be seen if Johnson can get away with his loud moves against more advanced pitching, however his decent feel for the barrel and ridiculous bat speed should help him either A. Get away with it, or B. Quiet things down without it coming at expense of much power.

Defense/Speed

Johnson’s hands work really well and his average arm should play fine at second base. Though not the rangiest, he should be an average defender or better at second.

Just an average runner who many evaluators think could slow down a step as he continues to mature, it’s unlikely that Johnson is a major factor on the bases.

Outlook

There’s a lot to like with Johnson’s bat. Plus raw power with a feel to hit that should improve along with a patient approach, there’s potential for major impact in the batter’s box. While he may not be the plus plus hitter that many evaluators tabbed him as coming out of the draft, he also boasts far more raw power than most gave him credit for.

How Johnson responds to more challenging pitching will likely determine whether he needs to make some swing tweaks, but his twitchy bat speed and explosiveness are impossible to teach and should give him an edge as he shores up his consistency.

75. Ricky Tiedemann – LHP – Toronto Blue Jays

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 3rd Round (85), TOR – 2021 | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/6070/7055/5545/5055

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Arsenal

Throwing from a low arm slot, Tiedemann generates a ton of arm speed allowing his already impressive arsenal to play up. The southpaw has three impressive offerings but the combination of his plus fastball and plus changeup has helped him carve up more experienced hitters.

Tiedemann’s fastball sits 94-96 MPH, topping at 99 MPH with plenty of ride and arm-side run. The pitch really jumps out of his hand from the low release point and gets on hitters quickly. Tiedemann maintains his arm speed really well with his above average changeup, making it really difficult to differentiate out of his hand and helping it play closer to plus. The change sits in the mid 80s with roughly 18 inches of arm-side fade.

His sweeper has started to emerge as his best out pitch in 2022 and he started to favor it far more than his changeup in 2023. The pitch features sharp break in the low 80s. Tiedemann gained confidence in the pitch as the year went on, dominating hitters to the tune of a .140 batting average with a swinging strike rate of 22% in 2023.

A big guy at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Tiedemann can struggle at times to sync up his mechanics, but has has a decent feel for his entire arsenal giving him a chance for average command. His stuff is so good that he can succeed in a rotation with fringy command.

Outlook

Tiedemann easily could’ve debuted in 2023 had arm flare ups not taken him off course over the last couple seasons. It was extremely encouraging to see Tiedemann start to handle a more significant workload in the back half of 2023, even if the results were a bit more sporadic than 2022.

With three plus pitches from the left side, Tiedemann has the stuff to be a frontline arm if healthy. Unfortunately, health has been a challenge for the talented southpaw.

76. Kevin Alcantara – CF – Chicago Cubs

Height/Weight: 6’6″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $1M – 2018 (NYY) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4530/3545/6055/5545/5555

Projectable would put it lightly with the 6-foot-6, athletic Alcantara. Acquired from the Yankees in the Anthony Rizzo deal, Alcantara has a chance to be a terrorizing middle-of-the-order bat with sneaky complementary tools.

Offense

Tall, long, and lanky but with impressively quick hands, Alcantara has simplified his moves in the box in order to minimize whiff and it has not come at the expense of his exciting ability to impact the ball. 

Naturally, any prospect with levers as long as Alcantara’s will run into some swing and miss issues, but he has managed the strikeout rate relatively well in his first two professional seasons with tangible adjustments that point towards the possibility for an average hit tool. 

He may just be scraping the surface of his power potential in games, but Alcantara has flashed major impact ability. His 90th percentile exit velocity of 107 MPH is comfortably plus with a max exit velocity of 112.5 MPH. 

Perhaps in an effort to be shorter to the ball, Alcantara’s swing has flattened a bit, seeing his ground ball rate jump from 43% to 51%, but he has also shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority. He can struggle to manage his long levers through stretches, finding himself in between with his timing when things aren’t going right.

Another contributor to his elevated ground ball rate could be his chase rate of 35%, as he tends to swing at pitches below the knees a bit too often as well as off the plate away. If Alcantara can create a bit more leverage with his swing and improve his plate discipline, the sky is the limit offensively, but there is a fair amount of risk. 

Defense/Speed

Alcantara possesses above average speed thanks to his long strides which allow him to cover plenty of ground. Though there’s plenty of reason to believe he can stick in center, there is a chance that Alcantara could slow down a step as he physically matures. He would project as a fringe-plus defender in a corner with a pretty good arm. 

His speed translates more into closing speed in the outfield than quick burst base stealing, but Alcantara can still get to his top speed quick enough to steal 10-15 bags annually and provides overall value on the bases. 

Outlook

Prospects with 70-grade raw power to dream on and potential to stick in center field don’t come around every day. Though still a very volatile prospect profile, Alcantara’s solid offensive output at each of his lower level stops and palatable strikeout rates at least chip away a little at the risk. Alcantara is still a project, but the final result could be something special.

77. Jacob Melton – OF – Houston Astros

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 2nd Round (64), 2022 (HOU) | ETA: 2025

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/4540/4550/6060/6050/5555

A big, athletic outfielder who does not get cheated with his hacks, Melton showcased his dynamic blend of power and speed in his first full pro season.

Offense

Starting with an open stance, Melton loads into his back side with a big coil as his front leg hovers. This exaggerated move helps him store a ton of energy and tension in his backside with explosive rotational power when he launches.

Melton’s athleticism helps him get to his desired spot before launch, but sometimes he can get out of it a bit too early, causing contact out front and a few too many ground balls. He hedges this issue with a swing path that enters the zone early and stays through it for a long time.

Boasting plus power, Melton launched 23 homers in hitter-friendly environments, but his 107 MPH 90th percentile exit velocity is among some of the best in the organization along with a max exit velocity of 114 MPH. He has the ability to leave the yard to all parts of the field, but flashes better than plus pop to his pull side.

Melton posted average contact rates in 2023 and improved against secondary offerings as the season progressed, cutting his chase rate against changeups and breaking balls. Over his final 50 games of the season, he produced an OPS of .870 against secondary offerings.

A combination of rough splits against lefties and bad batted ball luck resulted in a lower batting average than expected from Melton, but he has the goods to develop into an average hitter with 25-30 homers in the tank.

Defense/Speed

An easy plus runner, Melton saw action in all three outfield spots, but looks the part in centerfield. He gets good jumps with routes that continued to get cleaner as the season progressed. Between his reads and closing speed, Melton is able to cover plenty of ground in the outfield and projects as at least an average centerfielder. He has an average arm that would play fine at all three spots.

Despite his bigger stature, Melton gets to his top speed quickly and is aggressive on the bases. He stole 29 bags in 31 tries in his 102 collegiate games, but has kicked things into a different gear as a pro. In 2023, Melton swiped 46 bags on 53 attempts.

Outlook

Like many toolsy prospects, Melton’s ceiling will likely be determined by how much he hits. His 2023 season encouraged the belief that he can develop into an average hitter, but even if the hit tool is fringy, he should still be a productive big leaguer.

The ability to stick in center and hit for power really elevates Melton’s profile. The stolen base aspect of his game as well as his slight favor to hit the ball to the pull side only bodes well with where the game is trending at the highest level. There’s plenty of similarities to Tampa Bay’s Josh Lowe.

78. Bryce Eldridge – OF – San Francisco Giants

Height/Weight: 6’7″, 220 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (16) – 2023 (SF) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
35/4550/6045/6540/4035/4555

Drafted as a two-way prospect, Eldridge quickly turned heads with his bat with the Giants opting to shift his focus there. He has massive power upside while offering more polish than most prep hitters with his profile.

Offense

Standing at a wiry 6-foot-7 with long levers, Eldridge already generates impressive bat speed and above average exit velocities, but there’s even more in the tank. While there is hit-tool concern with any hitter with an NBA wing’s build, Eldridge has a quick bat and smooth stroke with pretty good body control already.

Eldridge had no issue catching up to fastballs in his pro debut, posting an OPS above 1.000 against the pitch in his 33 games between the Complex and Low-A. Secondaries understandably gave him trouble, which is generally the case for most prep hitters jumping into full season ball, but even more so for a long-limbed hitter.

Patient in the box, Eldridge ran a chase rate below 20%, walking 21 times through his 33 games. Already flashing exit velocities of 111 mph already, it’s easy to envision plus or better power from him as he fills out a bit more, as he already uses his lower half well.

Defense/Speed

A below-average runner, the Giants have started Eldridge in right field defensively, where he is still getting his feet under him but could become a passable defender with a plus arm. He saw a lot of action at first base as an amateur.

Outlook

Now just focusing on hitting, Eldridge could ride the momentum from his pro debut into a massive 2024. He appears to mitigate the swing and miss concerns as well as a 6-foot-7 teenager can with little wasted movement and an advanced approach.

As continues to fill out and starts to elevate more consistently, there’s 30+ home run upside to dream on. Still very raw defensively, Eldridge may be athletic enough to avoid a move to first base, though his bat can handle a move to first base.

79. Victor Scott II – OF – St. Louis Cardinals

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 5th Round (157), 2022 (STL) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
60/6055/5530/3580/8060/7055

A natural hitter, Scott has become far more polished as a pro from both a swing mechanics and approach standpoint, while his 80-grade wheels have made him one of the most electrifying players in the Minor Leagues both on the base paths and in center field.

Check out our interview with Victor Scott II

Offense

Scott simplified his setup during the 2023 season, starting more in his base with the bat rested on his shoulder. He sinks into his back side with almost no stride, just picking up his heel as he loads. As Scott explained on “The Call Up“, he felt as though his adjustments helped him get to the same launch position more consistently and see the ball earlier. This not only resulted in more contact, but more impact as well.

Over his final 60 games of 2023, Scott slashed .320/.369/.445 at Double-A Springfield before heading to the Arizona Fall League, where he produced an OPS of .805 while walking more than he struck out.

After making his adjustments a few months into the season, Scott ran a zone contact rate that hovered around 90% while boasting a lower chase rate than most contact-oriented hitters. He has an excellent feel for the strike zone and does not stray from his approach. Though the power is likely below average, Scott flashes fringy pop to his pull side and will look for the right pitch to do damage on in advantage counts.

Scott specifically struggled with changeups in 2023, often waving over them or seeing his swing break down. Though generally selective, Scott is more aggressive against heaters, which could play a part in his challenges against changeups. He should gain more comfort as he compiles at-bats and his ability to hit fastballs, sliders and left-handed pitching helps his outlook.

Scott projects as a plus hitter who can consistently put the ball in play and steal plenty of hits with his speed. There’s enough impact for mostly gap-to-gap power, but 10-15 home runs could be attainable.

Defense/Speed

One of the fastest runners in all of professional baseball, both of Scott’s parents ran track with his father recognized in the Morris Brown College Hall of Fame. Scott’s speed is evident both in center field and on the base paths. He boasts ridiculous closing speed on balls in the gap or shallow flares while looking plenty comfortable tracking straight over his head. With an average arm to go with his blazing speed and already good jumps/reads, Scott is easily a plus defender in center.

If you add his Arizona Fall League stint in 2023, Scott stole 112 bags in 155 games. During the regular season, he tied Chandler Simpson of the Rays for the lead in professional baseball with 94 stolen bases.

Outlook

While speed is the name of the game for Scott, he brings plenty more to the table with arguably the best hit tool in the Cardinals system, at least gap-to-gap power and great defense in center field. A higher floor prospect, Scott still provides plenty of upside as top-of-the-order bat capable of pacing the league in stolen bases.

80. Hurston Waldrep – RHP – Atlanta Braves

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (24) – ATL (2023) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLChangeupSliderCOMMANDFV
50/5570/7055/6035/4055

An explosive athlete on the mound, Waldrep’s elite splitter is his calling card. Fastball shape and command have limited him some, but he has already flashed middle-rotation upside.

Arsenal

A three pitch mix, Waldrep’s fastball sits 95-97 mph behind his elite arm speed. The pitch does not perform as well as some may expect, lacking desired life and not garnering much swing and miss. In his junior season at Florida, opponents hit over .300 against the heater with similar results in his pro debut. The velocity and arm speed is there, but until there’s an adjustment shape wise, it’s likely an above average fastball at best.

The key weapon for Waldrep is his double plus splitter in the upper 80s that falls off of the table. It was one of the best pitches in college baseball in 2023 and he enjoyed similar domination with the offering in his pro debut, allowing just two hits against 26 strikeouts.

While the splitter is an elite put away pitch against hitters from both sides, Waldrep’s 85-87 mph slider gives him a second quality out pitch, flashing plus. After eliminating the curveball from his mix, he began to land the slider for a strike more consistently.

Outlook

Even with some concerns with the fastball characteristics, Waldrep has the stuff to be a big league No. 3. That said, he will need to improve his below average command to get there. His velocity and splitter alone give him the fall back of a high leverage reliever or high-end swingman, but his physical talent and slider that flashes plus give him the potential for much more.

81. Chase Hampton – RHP – New York Yankees

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 220 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 6th Round (190), 2022 (NYY) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLCUTTERSLIDERCURVEBALLCOMMANDFV
60/6550/5055/5550/5545/5555

A strong four pitch mix headlined by a plus heater, the Yankees saw the upside the 6-foot-3 right-hander possessed when they snagged him in the sixth round out of Texas Tech. Rather than assigning him to an affiliate, Hampton worked in a controlled setting to help optimize his arsenal and smooth his delivery. The results were evident in his first pro season, boasting a 25% K-BB rate, one of the best marks in the Minor Leagues.

Arsenal

A clean, low-effort delivery, Hampton’s repeats his mechanics well with four quality offerings that work well off of each other. His plus fastball sets the tone, with elite carry at 92-95 MPH. The shape of the pitch is what makes it so difficult for hitters to get to, averaging 19 inches of induced vertical break from an extremely flat VAA. The combination of above average IVB and a VAA that is far flatter than the average pitcher from his release height gives him an rare fastball look for hitters.

As a result, he picked up an swinging strike rate of 17% on his fastball (10% is roughly average) with well above average chase rates and big whiff numbers within the zone. Despite the dominance of his fastball, Hampton only threw it about 35% of the time in 2023 boasting plenty of confidence in his secondaries, which played well off of a fastball that hitters feel like they have to cheat for.

Though it’s not his best pitch in terms of shape or whiff, he is supremely confident in the offering, landing it for a strike more than 70% of the time while picking up plenty of weak contact. The pitch performs better against lefties as Hampton is comfortable running through the back door as well as tying them up.

His slider and curveball are both above average offerings, but the slider stands out as the more consistent and effective pitch in the 82-84 MPH range with good sweeping action. He almost exclusively uses it against right-handed hitters.

His 79-81 MPH curveball features good depth and good downward bite, tunneling particularly well off of his fastball. Much like the slider to righties, Hampton almost exclusively throws the curve to lefties.

Outlook

Clearly the Yankees’ best pitching prospect following the Drew Thorpe trade, Hampton boasts high-end No. 3 upside with a great chance of at least becoming a quality back end arm. With his big frame frame and low-effort delivery, there could be more velocity in the tank for Hampton, which would make his fastball easily a double-plus pitch.

With a bit more consistent of a feel for his curveball and more optimal pitch usage (he would likely benefit from throwing his fastball more, cutter less and possibly even mixing in the curveball to righties), Hampton could help the Yankees as soon as 2024.

82. Dylan Lesko – RHP – San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (15), 2022 (SDP) | ETA: 2026

FASTBALLCHANGEUPSLIDERCURVEBALLCOMMANDFV
60/7060/7040/5535/5045/5555

An electric right-hander who “fell” to 15th overall in 2022 due to Tommy John surgery in his senior year of high school, Lesko returned to action in the second half of last season, reminding many why he was the top prep arm in his class. He also added a slider in the offseason.

Arsenal

Lesko has the ability to dominate hitters with high fastball usage thanks to its mid 90s velocity and incredible life. In his 2022 debut, his fastball averaged 20 inches of induced vertical break, often ripping fastballs with 22 inches or more of carry.

The exploding life on his fastball helped him pick up big in-zone whiff numbers and a swinging strike rate of 14%. Averaging right around 94-95 MPH, Lesko can touch 98 MPH.

Working off of his lively fastball is a plus changeup with late arm side run in the upper 70s. It almost seems to stop mid-air with the way that Lesko is able to maintain his arm speed despite roughly 15 MPH of separation. The late fade makes it that much tougher for hitters as well.

With more consistent feel for the pitch, it would likely play like a 70 grade pitch, especially off of his high-carry heater.

The third pitch for Lesko is a big curveball in the low-to-mid 70s. The pitch hovers around 3,000 RPMs, but he really struggled to locate it in his pro debut and hardly needed it in high school. With so much break at a low velocity, it can be a bit easier for hitters to lay off of and more difficult for him to locate.

In a conversation with Just Baseball during the offseason, Lesko mentioned that he added a shorter, harder slider in the mid 80s. A cutterish slider, the pitch should be an easier pitch for him to locate and the right-hander said that he believes it can aid his feel for the curveball by bridging the large gap in velocities.

Outlook

A good athlete on the mound with a smooth delivery, Lesko was not an exception to the command woes that typically follow Tommy John surgery, however his track record of throwing strikes as an amateur and repeatable mechanics provide plenty of optimism that his command will at least return to above average.

With two plus or better pitches leading the way, Lesko has No. 2 upside with further development of his breaking balls and regained command. He has a chance to have a monster 2024 season.

83. Spencer Schwellenbach – RHP – Atlanta Braves

Height/Weight: 6’1, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (59), 2023 (ATL) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLSLIDERCurveballCutterCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/6055/5550/5055/5540/5060/6055

A former two-way player at Nebraska, Schwellenbach is an athletic pitcher with great command of five quality pitches.

Arsenal

Possessing a five pitch mix from a low release, Schwellenbach can attack all four quadrants with success. Working down the mound athletically, his 95-97 mph fastball can get on hitters quickly from his low release and short-arm delivery.

Schwellenbach’s slider and cutter are his best secondary offerings, with his mid 80s slider serving as his preferred strikeout pitch to righties while his 90-92 mph cutter with downward bite is his best weapon to lefties. It is effective against same-handed hitters as well, picking up both whiff and ground balls.

His sweeping curveball at 79-81 mph is an early count strike stealer that he locates consistently while the changeup has flashed average in the mid 80s, but has been his lone inconsistent pitch from a strike and feel perspective.

Outlook

Between the athleticism and feel for four at least four average or better offerings, Schwellenbach is a high-floor arm with good enough stuff to slot into the middle of a rotation. He may benefit from differentiating his breaking balls more from a shape perspective, but regardless, his fastball, slider and cutter should miss enough bats and pick up enough ground balls to make him a strong No. 4 option with No. 3 upside.

84. Jacob Wilson – SS – Oakland Athletics

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st round (6) , 2023 (OAK) | ETA: 2024

HITPlate DiscGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
70/7040/4030/3550/5050/5555

Elite bat to ball skills and the ability to stick at shortstop make Wilson a high probability big leaguer who should not spend much time in the minors.

Offense

A jittery operation in the batter’s box, Wilson starts crouched with his bat bouncing on his shoulder and a toe tap as he sinks deep into his back leg. Between how early Wilson gets into his slot, his compact swing and overall feel for the barrel, he makes contact as consistently as any hitter in the Minor Leagues.

The question with Wilson remains how much power he can tap into. His exit velocities are well below average and he puts the ball on the ground at an above average clip. He has flashed slightly more impact to the pull side and still with some projection in his frame, the hope is that he can grow into consistent gap to gap power.

If Wilson is not able to tap into any more impact, there’s of course going to be a high degree of pressure on his hit tool to translate into a high batting average, especially considering his low walk rates. It’s common for contact savants to have higher swing rates, but improving his ability to draw free passes would also alleviate his need to hit for the highest of averages to be a regular.

Defense/Speed

While not the most explosive athlete, Wilson has all of the goods to stick at shortstop. His father Jack Wilson was a Gold Glove defender at short and Jacob looks like a natural at the position as well, even if he may not have as much flare or range. His actions are smooth, his arm is plus and the instincts are there. An average runner, Wilson will opportunistically swipe bags.

Outlook

There’s few pro prospects with a narrower gap between their floor and ceiling than Jacob Wilson, however that is not necessarily a bad thing. He’s a high probability big leaguer who may not even need a season’s worth of Minor League games before he is MLB ready. Just a step forward in the impact and/or on base department can make Wilson an above average regular.

85. David Festa – RHP – Minnesota Twins

Height/Weight: 6’6″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 13th round (399), 2021 (MIN) | ETA: 2024

FASTBALLSLIDERCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
60/6065/6550/5545/5055

A tall and lanky right-hander with three quality pitches, Festa could be a quality rotation piece assuming his feel to pitch continues to improve.

Arsenal

Standing at 6-foot-6, Festa has a unique windup with an inward twist before really getting down on the mound and driving with his lower half. Starting all of the way on the right side of the rubber, Festa creates a particularly uncomfortable angle for righties.

After struggling with his command of his mid 90s fastball in 2023 (55% strike rate), Festa made some small adjustments to his delivery, maintaining his direction towards home more effectively rather than pulling towards his glove side as he had the tendency to in the past. The result has not only been more strikes, but also much more carry on his fastball and a bit more extension. Through his first eight starts of the 2024 season, his whiff rate was up 5% on his fastball.

Festa’s plus slider in the upper 80s is his best pitch with late gyro break. His command of the pitch and the action of it make it effective to both lefties and righties, picking up a swinging strike rate around 20% and high ground ball numbers. He can become overly reliant on his slider at times, throwing it at a 40% clip, but his improved fastball has helped hedge that.

The third pitch for Festa is an above average changeup in the upper 80s. He found an improved feel for it in the second half of the 2023 season and has become his preferred secondary pitch against lefties, throwing it nearly as much as his fastball. With the improved characteristics and command of his fastball, the changeup should benefit from both a tunneling and separation perspective.

Outlook

Festa emerged in 2024 looking much more like a complete pitcher who can turn lineups over multiple times rather than a slider-dependent five and dive arm. It’s a big league-caliber three pitch mix with gains in the pitchability department that have him looking like a potential middle-rotation starter.

86. Zyhir Hope – OF – Los Angeles Dodgers

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 11th round (326) , 2023 (CHC) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate DiscGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
35/4540/5050/6060/6040/5055

Extremely toolsy with frame-defying power, Hope was a high upside, but far away get for the Dodgers in the Michael Busch trade.

Offense

Starting with his feet just wider than shoulder width with his hands relaxed just below his shoulder, Hope gets into his back side with a gathering leg kick as he pulls his hands up to his slot. His hands can get deep behind him, elongating the distance from launch to contact, but he compensates for it with plus bat speed and explosive rotational power.

Already launching home runs above 113 mph, Hope produces ridiculous torque and handles velocity well. Like many rotational hitters, Hope has the tendency to get somewhat spinny, particularly struggling to stay on stuff from same-handed pitchers.

Hit tool concerns as a raw northeast high school bat kept Hope out of the first few rounds of the 2023 draft, though the Cubs did shell out fifth round money to sign him. After his pro cameo with the Cubs, Hope cleaned up his operation in the box with an average hit tool now appearing attainable.

Already showcasing plus pull side pop in games and the ability to elevate consistently, Hope has big offensive upside.

Defense/Speed

An easy plus runner, Hope’s closing speed has helped him overcome slow reads and shaky routes in the early stages of his pro career. If he doesn’t find more comfort in centerfield, he would profile well in a corner where his plus arm and speed would place nicely. Despite his plus speed, Hope has been a somewhat tentative on the bases, but should develop into a stolen base threat.

Outlook

Hope is a project, but has already made a ton of progress between his age 18 and 19 seasons. There’s potential for a coveted combination of plus power and speed that could make Hope a dynamic outfielder with All Star upside. As he continues to look more hitterish, the massive perceived risk slowly dissipates, however there is still a fair amount of development ahead of Hope for him to reach his high ceiling.

87. Ramon Ramirez – C – Kansas City Royals

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $57K – 2023 (KC) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
50/5540/5040/5540/4045/5555

An overlooked international free agent out of the 2023 class, Ramirez quickly settled into pro ball, tearing through the DSL while looking the part behind the dish.

Offense

Starting slightly stacked on his back side, Ramirez really gets into his back leg/hip with a big gathering leg kick, but showcases impressive balance and body control. Despite some moving parts, Ramirez is consistently on time with a fantastic feel for the barrel.

In his 41 DSL games, he ran a zone contact rate right around 90% while walking more than he struck out. There’s already flashes of above average power from Ramirez, posting a 90th percentile exit velocity of 103 MPH and a max of 108 MPH.

Ramirez handled velocity well when he saw it while consistently driving the ball in the air. There’s a lot to like in his offense game with the potential for an exciting blend of hit and power.

Defense/Speed

Already a solid receiver with an above average arm, Ramirez was easily one of the most polished catchers in the DSL. His blocking is a bit behind his receiving, but he looks capable in that regard as well. He looks the part behind the dish, with plenty of confidence and comfort. He could progress into an above average defender.

Outlook

It was an incredibly impressive showing from Ramirez both at the plate and behind it. 17 years old at the start of the season, Ramirez looked far more polished than the majority of his competition. He was among the DSL leaders in just about every offensive category, but it’s the swing mechanics, defensive tools and underlying data that make him such an intriguing prospect already. Ramirez has the potential to be a two-way backstop who can can hit for both average and power.

88. Dillon Head – OF – Miami Marlins

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 1st Round (25), 2023 (SD) | ETA: 2027

HITPlate Disc.GAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
40/5535/4530/4070/7050/6055

Blazing speed with a natural feel to hit, Head has the mold of a table-setting center fielder.

Offense

A smooth, simple swing from the left-side geared for contact, Head sprays the ball all over the field with an excellent feel for the strike zone. Head has the ability to get to tough pitches and grind out at-bats, but will surprise with sneaky impact to his pull side. His elite athleticism aids him in the box both from a body control and adjustability standpoint; Head has a chance to be a plus hitter.

Defense/Speed

Head’s elite wheels are evident both in center field and on the base paths. He possesses ridiculous closing speed with good reads already. On the base paths, Head has the quickness to be a stolen base machine.

Outlook

Plus plus speed, the potential for a plus hit tool and impactful defense in center field make Head one of the higher-floor prep bats drafted outside of the first several picks in recent memory. He has enough impact potential for gap-to-gap power, but even with below average power, Head has the skillset to be a dynamic top-of-the-order threat who accumulates WAR and stolen bases.

89. Adam Mazur – RHP – San Diego Padres

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (53), 2022 (SDP) | ETA: 2025

FASTBALLSLIDERCURVEBALLCHANGEUPCOMMANDFV
55/5560/7050/5040/5055/6055

A strike-thrower with above average stuff, Mazur hit the ground running in pro ball, carving through High-A before holding his own in Double-A. There may be more in the tank as well.

Arsenal

Lanky with a loose, fast arm, Mazur fills up the strike zone with a four pitch mix, though his fastball and slider stand out. His above average fastball sits 94-96 MPH, touching 98 MPH. There are times where the shape of Mazur’s heater leaves a bit to be desired, but others where the pitch features more cut/ride.

It could be intentional, or just an inadvertent slight cut to his release, but his fastballs that were getting 14-15 inches of induced vertical break and almost zero horizontal picked up much more uncomfortable swings from hitters than his fastballs that had 5-6 inches of horizontal. Mazur could see his fastball be closer to a plus pitch if he can harness the cut/ride action consistently.

His best pitch is his plus slider in the upper 80s with gyro break. The short, late break allows Mazur to command the pitch well, landing it for a strike 73% of the time in 2023. While he picked up plenty of whiffs on the offering (20% Swinging Strike rate), it was also a consistent ground ball weapon for him (51% ground ball rate).

While he will go to his fastball and slider 80% of the time, Mazur will mix in both a curveball and changeup evenly. While both pitches are fringy, they give him another look early in counts, using them to get ahead of hitters. His command of both pitches improved as 2023 progressed, but they will probably just be taste-breaker offerings.

Outlook

Between his pitchability and decent stuff, Mazur appears to be a high probability starter, even if it’s closer to the back end of a rotation. To trend closer to a middle-rotation type, he’d likely need to find some consistency with the fastball shape and see one of his changeup or curveball make a leap, but considering his build, age and the fact that he was a late-bloomer in college, there could be more to unlock here.